Of story and graciousness

Found a contact email address on Louise Penny’s website and wrote asking her assistant to let her know my friend with terminal cancer texted yesterday saying that reading the first of Penny’s books is helping her to forget her pain and sadness for a while: “I love the characters and the story. I want to BE Ruth.”

An excerpt from Ms. Penny’s response:

Please, call me Louise. You are right – there is no greater compliment to a writer – to a human – than that we have helped another person. Especially in times like your friend is in. Please give her a hug from me, and let her know that Armand, Reine-Marie, Gabri, Myrna et al are waiting for her in the bistro. They’ve saved a place with them by the fire. Even Ruth is there and we all know that she is FINE.

With embraces,


Favorite of my favorites

Saw Joan Baez again last evening, this time at Oakland University in Michigan. She was with Mary Chapin Carpenter and the Indigo Girls for their Four Voices tour. I believe this will always be my favorite of the songs she sings — and she wrote it, too.


Big, wide embraces

I HAVE NO IDEA BUT HE MIGHT–“Maybe if we celebrate grace under duress rather than the illusion of total victory we will be less surprised and more prepared when illness and evil lurch into our lives, as they always will; and maybe we will be a braver and better people if we know we cannot obliterate such things, but only wield oceans of humor and patience and creativity against them.” — Brian Doyle, who died last week of brain cancer


Ahead of his time, way, way, way


Dancing saves the world


Not only sometimes


Happens to be true