A Most Delightful Evening

Like the tendrils of this plant our hearts are attached to a new friend.
We met Sara(h?) with a polite handshake last night.
She left this morning with hugs.

Hosting friends (and friends of friends) is such a delight.
Mark used to be a friend of a friend but after one visit
we claimed him for our very own.  When he called to ask if
we could house him and his friend Sara we were excited to see him again.
When they arrived last night, I knew the instant I saw
the book in Sara’s hand, that this was a kindred spirit.

Lingering around the table, Mark told us about his recent
trip to Poland, his three week course in Polish
and the idiosyncrasies of that language. 
His mom lives four blocks from Schindler’s factory in Krakow.
Mark said that you could see bullet holes in the walls around the
holding area where they rounded up the Jews.

Mark gave us several recommendations of foreign films
to watch.  We’re ready to check out Robert Bresson’s films
and particularly eager to watch  Dekalog, one hour films
inspired by each of the ten commandments.

Have you heard of the Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz?
I’m interested in learning more.
Here’s a short poem he wrote in 1991:


Meaning

When I die, I will see the lining of the world


The other side, beyond bird, mountain, sunset


The true meaning, ready to be decoded.

We started talking books and authors.  Sara said, “Have you
ever heard of Wendell Berry?” Oh my. Oh my.
After twenty minutes of Wendell Berry adoration
I mentioned that he and Anthony Trollope were
my favorite discoveries this past year.  Now it was her turn to stare.
“Anthony Trollope?  My mom, my brother, and my brother-in-law
are all huge Anthony Trollope fans.  The last time I was home
my mom read to me from Rachel Ray.” 
Rachel Ray?  She has a cooking show!
Yup, there is an Anthony Trollope book entitled Rachel Ray.

First sentence:
There are women who cannot grow alone as standard trees;
-for whom the
support and warmth of some wall,

some paling, some post, is absolutely
necessary;

-who, in their growth, will bend and incline themselves

towards some such prop for their life,
creeping with their tendrils
along the ground

till they reach it when the circumstances of life
have
brought no such prop

within their natural and immediate reach.

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9 thoughts on “A Most Delightful Evening

  1. Here’s the link to Milosz’s poem which I posted in April ’06.
    http://hiddenart.blogspot.com/2006/04/meaning-when-i-die-i-will-see-lining.html
    I first read of him at Breakpointonline……..T M Moore writes interesting columns.  Then I kept *seeing* references to Milosz’s work, even in a Grisham novel! (The protoganist went into a bookshop and came out with a book of Milosz poetry.)  I finally gave a copy of his works to a girlfriend for her birthday, not buying one for myself šŸ˜¦
    Glad you discovered him, too.  And in such a charming way.
    Now you have two new friends…. Sarah and Czeslaw šŸ™‚

  2. This is how life so often happens: I was reading your blog last April, but I seem to need several references before something sticks to my brain. Thanks for the link again. And you are so right – two new friends.

  3. Found an ebook copy of Rachel Ray and have read a little bit.  I’m going to keep at Trollope ….until I can say I like him.
    I’m also reading bits of St Elmo by Augusta Jane Evans, a 19th Georgia writer.  A former neighbor (83 y o) keeps asking me to read it and tell her what I think. 
    Sweet.

  4. I’m going to have to read Trollope and Wendell Berry. Your recommendation for Kristin Lavransdatter turned out to be so perfect, I trust you completely! We watched Dekalog a few years ago. They were profound and I still think of the images. Some of them were quite dark, I thought. The impact of Communism on Poland can be easily seen.Your hospitality is wonderful. We had such a good time visiting two different friends on our trip to NYC. One was a family of dear friends who moved to eastern Pennslyvania 5 years ago. The other was Luke’s friend Amanda’s family. They have become quite dear to us in just a year. Blessings,Sandy

  5. Carmon, thanks for the link. I’m interested in learning more.Sandy, I’m glad to know that you appreciated the Dekalog. My husband is teaching through the ten commandments in Sunday School, so this is really timely.Dana, it’s hard to not like what good friends do, but it’s fine with me if you don’t like Trollope. I remember back in the days when everyone was ga-ga over Frank Peretti’s books and I was the only one in my church who wrinkled my brow and said blech.

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