Category: By the way . . .

Willa Cather: A Forever View of the Mountain

Last week, my sister Theresa and I took advantage of the opportunity to visit the grave of novelist Willa Cather and her longtime partner, Edith Lewis, in the Old Burying Ground behind the beautifully preserved Meeting House in Jaffrey, New Hampshire. I had known for a long time that Cather was buried in Jaffrey, but didn’t know how it had come to be that the woman who wrote “of prairie pioneering…the desert southwest…Quebec City at the end of the seventeenth century…her own birthplace, rural northern Virginia,”( https://www.willacather.org/willa-cathers-biography) chose a small New Hampshire town as her final resting place. That...

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Happy 100th Birthday to Betty Friedan!

On February 4, 2021, Betty Friedan would have turned 100 years old. Although she passed away 15 years ago (on her birthday, a 1-in-2,800 chance!), she has not been forgotten, and there are those working in an intentional way to keep her legacy alive. Often called ‘the mother of second wave feminism’ (1960s to 1980s), Betty Friedan had a “passion for the possible,” and persevered in moving the needle toward greater gender equality as much as one woman could. Far from perfect, yet brave, bold, and driven, this “visionary” accomplished more than is often realized. Her book The Feminine...

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Reflections on a Thanksgiving Revelation

During a guided meditation, this message came to me: resistance is where the work is. Tuning in recently to Seth Godin discussing his latest book, The Practice: Shipping Creative Work, I heard him mention that when it comes to doing what you love and loving what you do, loving what you do may be more beneficial than many imagine. Can we love what we do when it’s not what we love? When it stops short of our goal, when it’s a detour to where we really want to be? This year we’re contending with a virus that’s forcing some...

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Polly Coppinger’s Son: Osceola,”Master Spirit of the Seminole Nation” (1804-1838)

National Indigenous Peoples Day is being celebrated across the United States this week. Malinda Maynor Lowery, professor of history at UNC-Chapel Hill, in her article The Native History of Indigenous Peoples Day, relays, “More and more towns and cities across the country are electing to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day as an alternative to—or in addition to—the day intended to honor Columbus’ voyages…The growing recognition and celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day actually represents the fruits of a concerted, decades-long effort to recognize the role of Indigenous people in the nation’s history.” You can read Lowery’s full article here. In the spirit of...

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Memorials to the Victims of the Middle Passage

In several interviews after the publication of her 1987 novel, Beloved, Toni Morrison laments the lack of awareness and homage to the victims of the Middle Passage. What is the Middle Passage? Brittanica defines the Middle Passage, as “the forced voyage of enslaved Africans across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World. It was one leg of the triangular trade route that took goods (such as knives, guns, ammunition, cotton cloth, tools, and brass dishes) from Europe to Africa, Africans to work as slaves in the Americas and West Indies, and items, mostly raw materials, produced on the plantations (sugar, rice, tobacco, indigo, rum, and cotton) back to Europe. From about 1518 to the...

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