Monday, November 20, 2006

It's a long story (it always is, isn't it?) but Peter Mayer is an astoundingly moving singer-songwriter that Margaret Post, Jess Myhre and I have been fans of for a goodly long time (along with my cousin whose wedding he sang at and enough people to pack the Fitzgerald Theatre in Saint Paul every concert). Here's the requisite post-concert fan-photo of Margaret and I with Peter, taken by my friend Shea who -- it turns out -- became a fan at the concert, thanks in part to another friend who brought him there (a fact we discovered near the 50¢ cookies and coffee at intermission -- did I mention we were in a tiny Lutheran church in the middle of southern New Hampshire?)

And if you're not already a fan, here's a chance to become one: he wrote new lyrics for the Old French carol most folks know as "People Look East" -- sing along if you're inclined:

Green by Peter Mayer © 2005 Blue Boat

When winter’s grey is on the sky
Rust upon the leaves that lie
Red on the last few berries clinging
Brown on the branch where the bitter wind’s singing
Even when white obscures the scene
Still in winter, there is green.

Waving defiant pine tree boughs
Cedar needles stubborn and proud
Hiding inside, the seeds of summer.
Deep in the wood where it sleeps undercover
Patiently waiting there unseen
In the winter, there is green.

Death may raise its voice raise today
Oh, but life will have its say
Speaking in lovers and in children
In poet’s pens and philosopher’s visions.
Life is a plant, it’s daring dream:
Earth’s devotions spoken in green.

So keep it in the winter’s store
Hang its garland round the door
Grant to your heart its hopeful promise
Fashion a wreath for its blessing upon us.
Winter brings browns and greys indeed
And when it comes, remember . . . green.


(PS: It would make the story even longer were I to explain why this restaurant or its Hungarian Mushroom soup is significant, but I can't resist posting a photo of the dinner and Guinnesses we enjoyed before the concert. And yes we greedily ate the soup before I could photograph it.)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

My friend and Bolivia-travel-buddy Ginger sent me this link from BBC

It's about about the road we UAC folks took every time we wanted to see a movie, or buy dictionaries for our students, our meet friends at the airport. I remember going in one time just because I wanted my students to have folders to keep all their handouts in (although I did bring back some cheddar cheese and La Paz bread).

Becky and I just compared notes with Skype (she was there for years) and we both agreed this story was a little overly-dramatic. "Must have been on the road on a bad day," she said. I agreed. But then she told me a story about the time she saw a Jeep hanging on by only two wheels. In the rainy season. Underneath a waterfall.

Nobody got hurt though, she assured me. "A couple ropes and 50 people pulling got them back on the road."

Ahhh, I miss Bolivia. (Oh, the photo above is from my first trip down the road from La Paz: Hugh holding the holy water the driver keeps in the glove box. The nuns used it to bless us all as we started our descent on the road.)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Lake Titicaca . . . Machu Picchu . . . Waltham Mass (photos by M Post)

Mike and Margaret and I are living it up again -- remembering our adventures in South America this spring, eating fantastic food and drinking some Argentine wine. This time the food is courtesy of Margaret and her farmshare -- meaning it's even more fantastic: greens with pomegranate, lemon and goat cheese, sweet potatoes with smoked gruyère, sunshine squash with walnuts and brown sugar, and chicken breasts stuffed with leeks, mushrooms, white wine and of course garlic. They insisted I get a photo or two up here this very night, but I think it may just have been a thinly veiled attempt to distract me so they could bust out the Scrabble board.