Scribbles, &c.

June Update

I just finished Paul Elie’s The Life You Save May Be Your Own, which traces the respective biographies of Flannery O’Connor, Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day, and Walker Percy into a beautiful and engaging story of a particular moment in American Catholicism. Merton and Day’s stories I already knew, having read The Seven Storey Mountain and The Long Loneliness some time ago. O’Connor I knew from studying Southern Lit in college and working my way through her complete short stories, collected letters (Habit of Being, published posthumously), and Wise Blood. Percy I knew only sort of obliquely. I read The Thanatos Symdrome in high school or maybe college, intrigued by the general plot but missing buy a country mile any sort of religious threads. I should probably
add it to the on-deck list along with Love In The Ruins.

As it is, I’ve got The Violent Bear It Away and the selected writings of St. Bernard of Clairvaux on the way. Also a guide on identifying wild edible plants, which has become sort of interest of mine recently. Off the top of my head, I can think of the following things growing in and around our yard which are said to be edible if not actually tasty: prickly pear cactus, red mulberry, blackberries, American persimmons (male trees which will not fruit), Passionflower vines, elderberries, and (if you can get them before every bird) black cherries. There’s plenty of wood sorrel and I’d wager purslane somewhere if I knew what it looked like.

I woke up with some terrible stomach cramps today. They seem to be on the way out, but it’s telling that in trying to figure out their cause, my wife looked at me archly and asked whether or not I had eaten anything I’d had found in the yard. The answer was no, if you were wondering.

So - we’ve had a fair amount of rain lately and the gardens are growing like crazy. The peppers look very promising and, mirabilis dictu, we’re keeping up with the zucchini production. I’ve been meaning to get some pumpkin hills planted so that we might have pumpkins by October. Maybe over the holiday weekend. As it is, we’ll be well-supplied with weird gourds. Several from last year were thrown into the compost heap and they’ve grown like Audrey III. I don’t think we can eat them or do anything but look at them, but they’re growing so well I don’t have the heart to pull them up.

RCIA-wise, I have taken over the neophyte year meetings, which we’ve been doing over Zoom. We do them monthly; the next session is coming up and I need to start preparing for a discussion on prayer.