Grillo Center Labyrinth

Grillo Center Labyrinth
Meander and Meet....designed by George Peters and Melanie Walker of Airworks For more information contact Susan at

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Saturday Morning Walkers - September 23, 2007

Hi everyone!

Well, I'm sorry to say that I had to beg off leading our walk yesterday morning - I did my good wifely deed and drove Jack to the airport.
I sure do miss all of you and look forward to our European travelers returning so we can get back on track!

Book Report:
Janet is listening to one of our Literary Sojourn books - Ireland by Frank Delaney. Our friend Kelly tried reading it and didn't particularly enjoy it but apparently it is one of those books that comes alive when you listen to it. Janet is loving it!

From Publishers Weekly
BBC reporter Delaney's fictionalized history of his native country, an Irish bestseller, is a sprawling, riveting read, a book of stories melding into a novel wrapped up in an Irish history text. In 1951, when Ronan O'Mara is nine, he meets the aging itinerant Storyteller, who emerges out a "silver veil" of Irish mist, hoping to trade a yarn for a hot meal. Welcomed inside, the Storyteller lights his pipe and begins, telling of the architect of Newgrange, who built "a marvelous, immortal structure... before Stonehenge in England, before the pyramids of Egypt," and the dentally challenged King Conor of Ulster, who tried, and failed, to outsmart his wife. The stories utterly captivate the young Ronan ("This is the best thing that ever, ever happened"), and they'll draw readers in, too, with their warriors and kings, drinkers and devils, all rendered cleanly and without undue sentimentality. When Ronan's mother banishes the Storyteller for telling a blasphemous tale, Ronan vows to find him. He also becomes fascinated by Irish myth and legend, and, as the years pass, he discovers his own gift for storytelling. Eventually, he sets off, traversing Ireland on foot to find his mentor. Past and present weave together as Delaney entwines the lives of the Storyteller and Ronan in this rich and satisfying book.

I just finished a short novel called Sea of Memory by Erri de Luca. It was a very haunting and touching story that satisfied my interest in all things Italian and Jewish.
One might expect a coming-of-age story set in a small Italian fishing village in the 1950s to wax idyllic, but Erri De Luca confounds expectation. Though the novel has more than its share of halcyon days in the sun, a troubling undercurrent runs through it. The unnamed narrator, a 16-year-old boy summering with his family on an island off the coast of Naples, is confronted with Italy's fascist past when he meets Caia, a young Romanian Jew whose family was decimated during the war. As the boy learns more about her circumstances, he demands answers from the adults around him--answers they are increasingly reluctant to give. Only Nicola, a local fisherman who served with the Italian army in Yugoslavia, offers any clues to Italy's complicity:
The war lived on in a few odd details that he would relate over and over again: an empty window seen from the street, and behind the window no house, not even a roof, and you could see the sky. Windows are made to see the sky, but not like that. And there was a market square where grass grew because there was nothing to sell and no one ever went there, not even to exchange a few words. Grass can be a sad thing when it grows between the cobblestones of a market.
De Luca hangs his story on two mirror images: the wartime invasion of Italy by German forces followed, just a few years later, by another incursion--this time of tourists--from the same nation. As Caia relates the realities of life during the German occupation, it becomes harder and harder for the boy to reconcile his country's past with its complacent present. Part love story, part ghost story, Sea of Memory is a haunting tale rendered in evocative prose.

Website of the Week: - this is the "go-to" site for investigating all those urban legends that fill our email inboxes.

Podcast of the Week: - this is a podcast from the Deer Park Dharma Center which follows the Buddhist tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh

Vocabulary Word of the Week: dharmaThe Sanskrit term Dharma (help·info) (Pali: Dhamma) signifies the underlying order in nature and life (human or other) considered to be in accord with that order. The word Dharma literally means 'that which upholds or supports' (from the root 'Dhr' - to hold), here referring to the order which makes the cosmos and the harmonious complexity of the natural world possible. Dharma is a central concept in Indian civilisation where it governs ideas about the proper conduct of human life. So central is it, indeed, that the symbol of the dharma - the wheel - takes central place in the national flag of India.
In its most frequent usage (in the sphere of morality and ethics) dharma means 'right way of living', 'proper conduct', 'duty' or 'righteousness'. With respect to spirituality, dharma might be considered the Way of the Higher Truths. What is in the West called religion in India comes within the general purview of dharma. Thus the various Indian religions are so many versions of dharma (versions of what is considered to be 'right' or in truest accord with the deepest realities of nature). A fraction of scholars called these various paths dharmic religions. Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism, are referred to in India as sanatana-dharma, Buddha-dharma, Jain-dharma and Sikh-dharma respectively. Each of these paths emphasize Dharma as the correct understanding of Nature (or God, as the origin of nature) in their teachings.[1][2][3] In these traditions, beings that live in accordance with Dharma proceed more quickly toward Dharma Yukam, Moksha or Nirvana (personal liberation). Dharma also refers to the teachings and doctrines of the founders of these traditions, such as those of Gautama Buddha and Mahavira. In traditional Hindu society with its caste structure, Dharma constituted the religious and moral doctrine of the rights and duties of each individual. (see dharmasastra). Dharma in its universal meaning shares much in common with the way of Tao or Taoism.

The antonym of dharma is adharma meaning unnatural or immoral.

Cooking and Dining Report:

Quick Chess Pie from Cora Potter:
1 cup butter
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons white vinegar
pinch of salt

Cream butter and sugar. Add well beaten eggs, vanilla, vinegar, and salt. Pour into 2 unbaked pie shells. Bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes; then increase temperature to 350 degrees and bake 35 minutes longer.

I meant to share some of the fabulous dishes that our friend Rita made for book group last week. These are from Fine Cooking Magazine and were just delicious!

Mustard-Crusted Chicken -

Warm Green, Pancetta and Tomato Salad with Parmesan -

Homemade Bianco with Icy Grapes -

I'll save some of my recipes from this past week for next week's edition.

Have a great week!



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