Feb. 24, 1998

The Truelove

by David Whyte


Today's Reading: "The Truelove" by David Whyte from THE HOUSE OF BELONGING, published by Many Rivers Press (1997).

It's SHROVE TUESDAY, a day to let it all hang out before the Lenten season begins tomorrow, Ash Wednesday. The name comes from the medieval word "shriving," or becoming pure through the confession of your sins. There are huge parades and parties in Trinidad, France, and Italy. Today is also officially Mardi Gras.

It's the anniversary of the founding of HADASSAH, the women's volunteer organization, in New York City in 1912. Henrietta Szold and 11 other women in her Bible study had been meeting regularly and wanted to do something to help the education of immigrant Jewish children and to train nurses to work in Palestine.

It's the birthday of HONUS WAGNER, the great shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates, born in Carnegie, Pennsylvania in 1874. He started off with the Louisville Colonels, then played for the Pirates from 1900-17 where he got the nickname "The Flying Dutchman" by stealing over 700 bases.

And it's the birthday of painter WINSLOW HOMER, and novelist MARY ELLEN CHASE - both of whom captured the coastal life of Maine in their work. Homer was born in Boston in 1836, and started off as an illustrator, sketching the camps of Civil War soldiers for Harpers. He settled in the village of Prouts Neck, Maine (near Portland) and began painting the sea - shipwrecks, storms, fishermen lost in fog, rescue scenes - huge oil paintings that made him the country's best-known painter at the turn of the century. Mary Ellen Chase was born in Blue Hill, Maine (up the coast about 150 miles) in 1887 and wrote about seafaring families in three memoirs and two novels published in the 1930s, the most popular of which is Silas Crockett, the story of a sea captain and three generations of life on Maine's coast.

It's the birthday in Hanau, Germany, 1786, of WILHELM GRIMM - who with his older brother, Jacob, collected hundreds of stories from farmers, shop-owners and housewives in western Germany and published them in 1812 as Kinder und Hausmärchen, Grimm's Fairy Tales which included Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Rumplestiltskin, Rapunzel, and The Frog Prince.

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®




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