Sunday, September 27, 2009

Home again

It is time to bring this blog to an end. John rolled back into Florida yesterday around noon. The end of this adventure is again, bittersweet. We love being on the road and we love being home. The saga will continue ... stay tuned ...


On his way back from the center of America, John stopped off to see his friends, Phil and Cheryl, who live deep in the Amish country of Tennessee. Here are some photos to mark that visit and friendship.

Last days in IL

John's last days in Illinois were marked by a sailboat regatta at Carlysle Lake, an airshow and a pow-wow. Not much to say about them, the photos tell the story - Go America! (I wonder if real Indians would parade with an American flag?)
The red chairs were the trophies for the winning boats!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fishing in Illinois

Nothing to do but fish, or so John says as he ends up his time in Illinois. He expected to be on the road for home by now, but has been asked to stay on a little longer ...

Jubilee and I miss him.

Meanwhile there's talk of work in Algeria ...

Monday, August 31, 2009

St. Bonaventure University

Taking John back to the airport in Buffalo, we stopped at St. Bonaventure University, in Olean NY. I knew that Bob Lax, who had grown up in Olean, had left most of his manuscripts to the University. I wanted to see them - or at least one.

The campus itself was unique. John took some “door” photos for his collection. It felt very “Catholic” to me, in a good sort of way.

I like the St. Joseph Oratory, a little round chapel, right in the middle of campus. Inside there was a statue of St. Joseph, with bench and cushions going around the wall, like a little meditation room. I have special place in my heart for St. Joseph, so I sat for a while.

This was a Sunday, and between school sessions, so I knew that I would be lucky if I found anyone around. The art building was open though - I wish I had had more time to browse that place, boy did it look interesting - and I was directed to the library. A young woman was waiting there, and said that it was open from 12:30 to 2:30 on Sunday. So I waited.

Unfortunately, the student who was in charge of the library didn’t know anything about Lax, and the best she could do was show me the website the school maintained for Lax. I know those papers are in there, I think that they should have a public room exhibiting photos and Lax’s manuscripts.

They did have a photo of Merton in the lobby, saying that Lax had introduced him to St. Bonaventure’s, and there was a brochure for a walking tour that would take you to the places that Merton mentions in his journals, like the statue of St. Therese of Lisieux where he heard the call to Gethsemane.

Merton gets all the fame, but Lax was very much a part of the inspiration, and an internationally acclaimed poet in his own right. St. Bonaventure’s has missed the boat, if you ask me.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

How To Build Community

This was on the wall of the eco-house, where we stayed in Western NY State (Wellsville):

turn off your tv - leave your house
know your neighbors
look up when you are walking
greet people - sit on your stoop
plant flowers
use your library - play together
buy from local merchants
share what you have
help a lost dog
take children to the park
garden together
support neighborhood schools
fix it even if you didn’t break it
have pot lucks - honor elders
pick up litter - read stories aloud
dance in the street
talk to the mail carrier
listen to the birds - put up a swing
help carry something heavy
barter for your goods
start a tradition - ask a question
hire young people for odd jobs
organize a block party
bake extra and share
open your shades - sing together
share your skills
take back the night
turn up the music
turn down the music
listen before you react to anger
mediate a conflict
seek to understand
learn from new and
uncomfortable angles
know that no one is silent
though many are not heard
work to change this

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hitachi John in Illinois

The new Hitachi John photo, at the Coffeen Plant in Coffeen, Illinois. One more week ...
(Note: it appears that blogger is no longer preserving the resolution of the uploaded photos :-( ... photos look look a lot fuzzier than they really are!)