The day before my wedding, I picked up ten cases of table
wine from a local winery--and one bottle of sweet wine for communion. The folks
at the winery had encountered local-food enthusiasts planning receptions before,
but the communion thing seemed to surprise them. "My son always says this
tastes just like altar wine!" said the woman who rang me up.
To commemorate the 100-year anniversary of Mark Twain's death, a crack team of editors at the massive Mark Twain Project at the University of California-Berkeley, headed by Harriet Elinor Smith, has produced the first of three volumes of the definitive Autobiography of Mark Twain. It quickly rose to the top of the best-seller lists.
At the heart of the 23-acre Naramata retreat center in British Columbia is a space for prayer, contemplation and celebration designed by architect Isabel Chen. This very modern chapel is formed by traditional Christian symbols. The floor plan is in the shape of a fish. The space includes a small, contained area, like a tomb, as well as a huge wall of windows, suggesting the light of the resurrection, through which one looks out on creation. The space is warm and fragrant thanks to huge wooden beams reclaimed from old buildings.
This invigorating documentary offers a
poignant portrait of a life devoted to the pursuit of beauty. Cunningham, a photographer who documents fashion in his
long-running New York Times column, is both an artist and a social commentator, though far too modest to describe himself as either.
These waters, I must trouble for myself, in an age of the absence of angels, as I plunge, first of the day to break the lambent surface of the pool, and commence my daily reaching after miracles, swimming laps at almost eighty-one. The miracle I seek these recent years has been defined, and then refined, by that old friendly temporizer, “yet”; no longer seeking not-to-die-at-all, just not-to-die-quite-yet, to win a couple bonus years, in which to pen another poem or two, to pile a few more chosen words onto this heap I have—for Oh so long—been working on. Any healing that might come will clearly have to be short term. Until, that is, I reach the final turn, take up my beggar’s bed, and walk.
Print books remain significantly more popular than digital books, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. The bad news is that the number of people who reported reading a book in any format last year was 73 percent, down from 79 percent in 2011 when Pew first started gathering data on the reading habits of America (Publishers Weekly, September 16).