St. Michael, MN
GARRISON KEILLOR and some friends from Prairie Home Poetry, Stories, and Classic Duets Featuring: Prudence Johnson Bob Douglas and Adam Granger Dan Chouinard, music director CHANGE: JULY 4, 2021, 4:00 PM Le Musique Music Room 4300 O’Day Ave. NE, St. Michael, MN 55376 $42/$15 Due to the extreme heat, we have moved this concert […]
GARRISON KEILLOR and some friends from Prairie Home Poetry, Stories, and Classic Duets Featuring: Prudence Johnson Bob Douglas and Adam Granger Dan Chouinard, music director July 2, 2021, 7:30 PM BIG TOP CHAUTAUQUA, BAYFIELD, WI Reserved $60/$52/$42 SOLD OUT Live Stream available (only 7/2 7:30PM) The Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua is a 900-seat […]
Just Added: Stillwater, MN 6-29
GARRISON KEILLOR and some friends from Prairie Home Poetry, Stories, and Classic Duets Featuring: Prudence Johnson Bob Douglas and Adam Granger Dan Chouinard, music director JUST ADDED June 29, 2021, 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM THE AVALON, STILLWATER, MN St. Croix Boat & Packet Co., 525 Main Street South, Stillwater, MN 55082 DINNER, CRUISE, […]
Las Vegas, NV
May 20, 2020
Garrison Keillor hits Las Vegas with a new solo show!
The daisy follows soft the sun
by Emily Dickinson
The daisy follows soft the sun,
And when his golden walk is done,
Sits shyly at his feet.
He, waking, finds the flower near.
“Wherefore, marauder, art thou here?”
“Because, sir, love is sweet!”
We are the flower, Thou the sun!
Forgive us, if as days decline,
We nearer steal to Thee, —
Enamoured of the parting west,
The peace, the flight, the amethyst,
“The daisy follows soft the sun…” by Emily Dickinson. Public domain. (buy now)
It’s the birthday of the first U.S. citizen to become a saint. Frances Xavier Cabrini
was born in what is now Lombardy, Italy, in 1850. After founding the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and establishing a number of schools and orphanages in her home country she asked the pope for an assignment in China. He refused. Instead he sent her to New York in 1889 to serve the growing numbers of largely impoverished Italian immigrants there. She and the sisters soon founded an orphanage and a hospital.
A few years later Cabrini settled in Chicago where she demonstrated not only a devotion to the poor but also a shrewd business sense. While negotiating to buy a building that would become Columbus Hospital near the city’s Lincoln Park, Cabrini questioned the measurements listed in the contract. Late one night she and her fellow nuns tied shoelaces together to form a makeshift tape measure. Sure enough, the dimensions were smaller. The real estate contract was adjusted, in the nuns’ favor. Throughout her life people asked Cabrini where she got the money to build hospitals, schools, and orphanages. She said, “We spend millions but haven’t a cent. We draw from the Bank of providence. Its funds are inexhaustible.”
Today is the birthday of Iris Murdoch (books by this author), born in Dublin (1919) and raised in London. Her parents met in Dublin during World War I. Her English father’s cavalry regiment was stationed there, and on his way to church one Sunday he met a girl who sang in the church choir. They married in 1918. Iris was an only child with a happy home life. She once described her family as “a perfect trinity of love.” Her mother was always singing and had a very happy personality. Her father enjoyed discussing books with Iris and she felt — even as a young girl — that she would be a writer one day. She studied philosophy at Oxford and Cambridge, where she met Ludwig Wittgenstein. During World War II she worked for the United Nations helping refugees displaced by the war. While she was working in Belgium she met Jean-Paul Sartre. After the war she returned to Oxford as a lecturer, and spent some time studying Sartre’s work, especially his fiction. She was interested in the way that a writer could use fiction to express bigger ideas.
She wrote her first novel, Under the Net, in 1954. Reviews were generally positive and the book was named one of Modern Library’s 100 Best English-language Novels of the 20th Century. Murdoch went on to write 25 more novels, including The Bell (1958), The Black Prince (1973), The Sacred and Profane Love Machine (1974), and The Sea, the Sea (1978), which won a Booker Prize. She also wrote plays, poetry, and philosophical works. Her novels often deal with things like the illusion of free will, the comedy of the sexes, and the complex relationship of good and evil. In particular she grappled with writing about moral goodness without sounding preachy. She told The Paris Review: “Plato remarks in The Republic that bad characters are volatile and interesting, whereas good characters are dull and always the same. This certainly indicates a literary problem. It is difficult in life to be good, and difficult in art to portray goodness. Perhaps we don’t know much about goodness. Attractive bad characters in fiction may corrupt people, who think, so that’s OK. Inspiration from good characters may be rarer and harder, yet Alyosha in The Brothers Karamazov and the grandmother in Proust’s novel exist.”
Oxford literature student John Bayley glimpsed Murdoch riding her bike past his window one day and fell in love at first sight. They were married in 1956. Even though they were very close, she kept parts of her life separate from him. She had many affairs with men and women, but in her opinion they had nothing to do with Bayley or her commitment to their marriage. In his memoir, Elegy for Iris (1999), Bayley wrote, “In early days, I always thought it would be vulgar — as well as not my place — to give any indications of jealousy, but she knew when it was there, and she soothed it just by being the self she always was with me, which I soon knew to be wholly and entirely different from any way that she was with other people.”
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®