The new ceiling fan ran in blessed silence for a day. But mid-night it began to make a gentle groan. I grieved the loss of silence. I lay awake listening, and remembered the worst ceiling fan ever. I had gone on another Carnival retreat. Religious groups in Brazil take advantage of the annual national street […]
Our flock of tropical fruit-eating birds is very fond of bananas and papayas, but usually spurn any experimental fruits we put out (grapes, apples, oranges). Today, however, a cold and windy storm drove them to eat voraciously, and by 10am they had finished two bananas and were eating even the skins. All we had left […]
Since the quarantine I’d begun exercising outdoors, in a shared space around the apartment building. It hosts a steady stream of adults exercising, but at tide-like intervals all the young children stream out of the apartments to play together. In particular there is a herd of five boys, the oldest on a bicycle, the next […]
Why is reading in bed a thing? I recall it being not only a thing, but a wonderful thing when I was a kid. I would read voraciously, even reading under the covers with a flashlight after lights out time. Lights out meant exactly “no more reading.” At some point I stopped reading in bed. […]
One of the many strange things I’ve adapted to in Brazil is really long visits. I was so used to the all-business, in-a-hurry, let’s-not-overstay-our-welcome kind of visits I knew in the US that it’s taken me years to acclimate to the pace of visits here. This week’s spate of post-quarantine visits included: Six hours with […]
Moses is standing at the shore of the Red Sea. The Egyptians are closing in. A dispute arises as to what to do next, which Moses takes some time to resolve. He leads them in prayer, and then continues to pray, saying: “O Lord of the world! I am like the shepherd who, having undertaken […]
I received such a lovely email today from some Carmelite hermits in the USA. I post a few excerpts here, lovely for meditation. You can find out more about them or donate to support them at their website. “How I’d love to show you the lovely infinite horizon beyond creation that I experience and contemplate… […]
Tomorrow is the feast day of Our Lady of Carmel. This is very widely celebrated in Brazil, but not necessarily in other places. Our Lady of Carmel is one of those devotions I seem to have by accident, along with Saint Benedict. They just keep accumulating in my life without much planning on my part, […]
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