Hold It All

Philosophy/Poetics/Politics

Category: Friends

Rachel’s Parenting Life

Rachel Kell is doing an on-line class with me (on Thich Nhat Hanh!). We had Social Justice class in spring 2003.  I asked her how her parenting life is going, after hearing Kate Heidemann Vandergriff describe parenting as “magical” and “exhausting.”

This is what Rachel shared with me…

Parenting life…I have thought about grabbing some moments several times throughout the day to respond to your request. Each time I would have had a different answer. Each time I was stopped by a more pressing “need”. Now the house is quiet because the children (5, 3, and 1) are sleeping. All their needs are being met by their own subconscious, and I am free to make a pizza from abandoned crust and remnants of toppings unfit for their own dinner. I have wine, which is more of a ritual than a beverage, a signal that my day is done and time is my own again. And I have a clearer mind that can see the day for what it was – another ordinary day filled with extraordinary moments. I watched Maeve’s dance moves and wiped Lucy’s nose. I counted steps taken, each one a new record. I swept up broken flower pots and remembered to water thirsty basil. I finally folded the laundry that sat stale in the dryer for a week while wondering why we hold onto things we can live without for 7 days. Read the rest of this entry »

The Good News, 6.4.2017: This Leads to That and That Leads to This

A couple years ago, Andrew Long suggested to one of his Barat Academy  students that she read The Book of Mev.   So she did.  And through social media we got in touch.  She just finished her first year at George Washington University, and it has been a delight to have visits and exchange correspondence with Liz Burkemper.

 

Share the Wealth with Lizzie Corcoran

Did you ever invest a lot of time and energy doing something you loved? Do you still do that thing? For the first 18 years of my life, I was trained in classical ballet and modern dance. I want to reflect on the years of my life that I spent learning the discipline of dance and the purpose of creative outlets in our lives.

Lizzie is a recent graduate of Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice, transitioning her life from St. Louis to DC to work as a fellow for the de Beaumont Foundation. Lizzie’s favorite things to talk about are as follows: public health, behavioral science, stand-up comedy, racism, white people, community, and which is the best St. Louis brewery.

Join us Sunday 4 June… Potluck diner begins at 6:00 pm, Lizzie begins sharing at 6:45, at her home 4561 Shenandoah, Saint Louis 63110.


This pic is from when I first started dancing. I was 6 years old and we lived in Ireland. That photo was taken right before my first recital.

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Wednesday 10 May: Share the Wealth with Magan Wiles — BECAUSE MY HEART IS HUNGRY FOR YOURS: My Torrid Love Affair With Argentine Tango

Argentine Tango developed in the late 19th century in the working-class neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, which were teeming with lonely young men from Italy and Spain who crossed the ocean to seek their fortune, never to see their families again.  From this solitude and heartbreak grew the Tango: an improvised social dance with a technique born from the need to create and hold a warm embrace between 2 people.  We’ll talk about the history of Tango; the fascinating particulars of Tango culture; and its practical applications for performers, feminists, practitioners of mindfulness, and anyone interested in becoming better at partnership.

Magan is an actress, tango dancer, and small business owner whose passions all dovetail in an obsession with human connection.  She attended Saint Louis University as a theater undergrad 2004, and begin her professional acting career in St. Louis after graduation.  After completing an MFA in acting at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 2012, she moved to New York City where she was miserable for 2 1/2 years.  There she started Hustle Creative, which provides bookkeeping and business management for creative entrepreneurs; booked some decent acting jobs; and began casually dating tango.  She didn’t really fall in love until she moved to Los Angeles in 2015 and began taking classes with Oxygen Tango School that fall.  She frequently visits St. Louis to do plays and will appear in Small Craft Warnings with the Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis starting May 3.

Join us
Wednesday 10 May
Potluck supper begins at 6:00 p.m.
Magan begins sharing at 6:45
At the home of Jessie and Savannah
714 Limit Avenue
Apartment #1N
Saint Louis, M0 63130

Metta, 4.30.2017

May Neeta be happy.
May Neeta be peaceful.
May Neeta be liberated.

–Dr. Neeta Shenai has been my student,  friend, and teacher since 2005.

The Truly & Exceptionally Ecstasy-Inducing Good News, 4.29.2017

Last September, Brendan, and Jen, friends whom I had in Social Justice class years ago at SLU, told me that he had been diagnosed with malignant metastatic melanoma. The other day, Jen sent me the following text: “We just found out that Brendan’s full body CT scan done on Tuesday was normal—so no signs of cancer 12 weeks into treatment and 6 months after his surgery!”

¡Ray Pruitt, Presente!

I just found out that a classmate died last year in Japan. Ray Pruitt studied two years at Bellarmine (1978-80), then eventually finished his Bachelor’s at Harvard before doing law at Yale. Ray, Anne Walter and I had signed up for a US history class sophomore year. For the first quiz, Ray ignored what the teacher gave us and instead  wrote a short essay on the vices of indoctrination.  The professor  later called him into her office, and he proposed that he was ready for a serious, critical  look at U.S. history and he knew two other students (Anne and me)  who were also up for reading some of the classics of our nation.  She agreed, and we three stopped going to class and instead met with her every couple of weeks for discussion on a particular book.  Near the end of the spring term, one of Ray’s papers was on the Beats, which introduced me to the writings of Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Burroughs.

Thinking of Ray’s exuberance, I recall Harold Bloom’s commentary on The Book of J about Yahweh’s Blessing: “J’s vision of the charismatic is that its quality lets us envision a time without boundaries, a sense of something evermore about to be, a dream  that is no dream but rather a dynamic breaking through into a perpetually fresh vitalism…”

 

After Cheese Cake

You spoil me, Maestra
One visit with you in French patisserieland
And I want a weekly dose of your thirty-four-year-old company:

You tango philosopher
You kinesthetic sage
You brunette buddha

But I can’t …
Always get what I want
So carpe-svaha-diem!

Share the Wealth with Cami Kasmerchak: The Hidden World of Vivian Maier

Vivian Maier’s work was first discovered about 10 years ago when a man named John Maloof purchased a trunk full of negatives at a Chicago storage auction. Maloof did not know it then, but he had stumbled upon a small portion of Maier’s more than 100,000 film negatives. This previously unknown prolific body of Street Photography mostly captures life in Chicago and New York where Maier worked as a nanny. Her mastery of photography and the brilliance of her work have been recognized only recently. We will view some of Maier’s work, and discuss Maier, photography, and what our own “100,000 negatives no one knows about” might be.

Cami Kasmerchak is an amateur photographer fascinated by Maier’s near perfect exposure and focus in her work. Selfishly, she wants your take on some of her own questions about Street Photography and is excited to talk about one of her favorite photographers with others.

Join us
Sunday 30 April
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00
(please bring something to share!)
Cami begins sharing at 6:45
at 5305 Delmar Boulevard
Apartment  401
Parking on  Savoy Court
Saint Louis 63112