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, October 28, 2007

Saturday Morning Walkers - October 21, 2007

Hi everyone!

Well it was quite a big weekend here! Rae and Lynn flew in on Friday night to help me celebrate the dedication of the Grillo Center Labyrinth. Rae joined us on our walk Saturday morning out at Walden Ponds - it was a perfect morning and the walk was just delightful. We hooked up with Lynn after breakfast and checked out the labyrinth while the sun was shining and then headed over to the Farmers Market. We had a wonderful day together on Saturday - did a bit of shopping, had a late lunch at Cheesecake Factory and then fixed a wonderful dinner at home that I'll tell you about later. Also, don't miss the Words of Wisdom and poem at the end of this post.

As predicted (for once, the weather forecasters were correct), Sunday was cold and wet! After a morning of indecision, we unhappily did cancel the public dedication. However, once that decision was made, we invited several of our friends and supporters over to our house for a more intimate celebration. We certainly had plenty of food and drinks and it turned out to be a wonderful event. It was a perfect way to celebrate the labyrinth and acknowledge our designers, George and Melanie, and our friends and supporters. For those of you who weren't able to be there, you certainly were in my heart and I thank you all for your enduring love and support.

Book Report:

Barb just finished Cormac McCarthy's new novel, The Road. She does recommend it and found it quite thought provoking.
Best known for his Border Trilogy, hailed in the San Francisco Chronicle as "an American classic to stand with the finest literary achievements of the century," Cormac McCarthy has written ten rich and often brutal novels, including the bestselling No Country for Old Men, and The Road. Profoundly dark, told in spare, searing prose, The Road is a post-apocalyptic masterpiece, one of the best books we've read this year, but in case you need a second (and expert) opinion, we asked Dennis Lehane, author of equally rich, occasionally bleak and brutal novels, to read it and give us his take. Read his glowing review below. --Daphne Durham


Guest Reviewer: Dennis Lehane

Dennis Lehane, master of the hard-boiled thriller, generated a cult following with his series about private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, wowed readers with the intense and gut-wrenching Mystic River, blew fans all away with the mind-bending Shutter Island, and switches gears with Coronado, his new collection of gritty short stories (and one play).

Cormac McCarthy sets his new novel, The Road, in a post-apocalyptic blight of gray skies that drizzle ash, a world in which all matter of wildlife is extinct, starvation is not only prevalent but nearly all-encompassing, and marauding bands of cannibals roam the environment with pieces of human flesh stuck between their teeth. If this sounds oppressive and dispiriting, it is. McCarthy may have just set to paper the definitive vision of the world after nuclear war, and in this recent age of relentless saber-rattling by the global powers, it's not much of a leap to feel his vision could be not far off the mark nor, sadly, right around the corner. Stealing across this horrific (and that's the only word for it) landscape are an unnamed man and his emaciated son, a boy probably around the age of ten. It is the love the father feels for his son, a love as deep and acute as his grief, that could surprise readers of McCarthy's previous work. McCarthy's Gnostic impressions of mankind have left very little place for love. In fact that greatest love affair in any of his novels, I would argue, occurs between the Billy Parham and the wolf in The Crossing. But here the love of a desperate father for his sickly son transcends all else. McCarthy has always written about the battle between light and darkness; the darkness usually comprises 99.9% of the world, while any illumination is the weak shaft thrown by a penlight running low on batteries. In The Road, those batteries are almost out--the entire world is, quite literally, dying--so the final affirmation of hope in the novel's closing pages is all the more shocking and maybe all the more enduring as the boy takes all of his father's (and McCarthy's) rage at the hopeless folly of man and lays it down, lifting up, in its place, the oddest of all things: faith. --Dennis Lehane

Lynn was reading (and I think finished) Ann Packer's new novel, Songs Without Words. It looks like a winner and another triumph for Packer after her first novel, The Dive From Clausen's Pier.

From Publishers Weekly
Packer follows her well-received first novel, The Dive from Clausen's Pier, with a richly nuanced meditation on the place of friendship in women's lives. Liz and Sarabeth's childhood friendship deepened following Sarabeth's mother's suicide when the girls were 16; now the two women are in their 40s and living in the Bay Area. Responsible mother-of-two Liz has come to see eccentric, bohemian Sarabeth, with her tendency to enter into inappropriate relationships with men, as more like another child than as a sister or mutually supportive friend. When Liz's teenage daughter, Lauren, perpetuates a crisis, Liz doubts her parenting abilities; Sarabeth is plunged into uncomfortable memories; and the hidden fragilities of what seemed a steadfast relationship come to the fore. Packer adroitly navigates Lauren's teen despair, Sarabeth's lonely longings and Liz's feelings of guilt and inadequacy. Although Liz's husband, Brody, and other men in the book are less than compelling, Packer gets deep into the perspectives of Liz, Sarabeth and Lauren, and follows out their conflicts with an unsentimental sympathy

Rae and I picked up two books at Costco yesterday - Rae started Ursula Hegi's new novel, The Worse Thing I've Done and I bought Gail Tsukiyama's new novel, The Street of a Thousand Blossoms. We have both read Ursula Hegi before and I just love Gail Tsukiyama's novels. We'll report on those soon.

Website of the Week - - you may have seen Kris Carr on Oprah today (Monday) - she is living with 4th stage cancer and has produced a documentary film on her experience as a cancer patient - very inspiring and somewhat irreverant!

Podcast of the Week - - Diane Rehm's interview with Andrea Barrett, the novelist who has written The Air We Breathe. It sounds like a fascinating book that deals with the tuberculosis epidemic just before WWI and life in the sanitoriums located in NY's Adirondack Mountains.

Vocabulary Word of the Week - labyrinth
From Wikipedia: for a full description, check out

Cultural meanings
Prehistoric labyrinths are believed to have served as traps for malevolent spirits or as defined paths for ritual dances. In medieval times, the labyrinth symbolized a hard path to God with a clearly defined center (God) and one entrance (birth).

Labyrinths can be thought of as symbolic forms of pilgrimage; people can walk the path, ascending toward salvation or enlightenment. Many people could not afford to travel to holy sites and lands, so labyrinths and prayer substituted for such travel. Later the religious significance of labyrinths faded, and they served primarily for entertainment, though recently their spiritual aspect has seen a resurgence.

Many newly-made labyrinths exist today, in churches and parks. Labyrinths are used by modern mystics to help achieve a contemplative state. Walking among the turnings, one loses track of direction and of the outside world, and thus quiets his mind. The result is a relaxed mental attitude, free of internal dialog. This is a form of meditation. Many people believe that meditation has health benefits as well as spiritual benefits. The Labyrinth Society provides a locator for modern labyrinths in North America.

Cooking and Dining Report: Two recipes to share this week:

Lunch on Sunday was Camden Yard Crabcakes -,1977,FOOD_9936_11929,00.html - an old favorite from Baltimore

Dinner on Saturday was Short Ribs with Tagliatelle from Giada De Laurentiis -,,FOOD_9936_34775,00.html - gets even better as a leftover! Oh, and I couldn't find Tagliatelle, a wide pasta noodle so I substituted papardelle. Any wide noodle would be great! Rae made sauteed spinach with pine nuts and raisins to go with this - delicious and a great accompaniment.

Words of Wisdom - this week we have some personal contributions - when Rae, Lynn and I were driving around Boulder over the weekend, we had a conversation about the GPS system in the car. Jack and I have named the voice of the GPS, Ophelia, and I was pointing out how much I enjoy having Ophelia in the car with me - she is not judgemental, I can curse at her if I don't agree with her directions and best of all, she doesn't get upset if you make a wrong turn. She simply points out that she is "recalculating". Rae declared that we should adopt the term "recalculating" as a mantra that helps us get through the twists, turns and ups and downs of our lives. How many times a day are asked to "recalculate" where we are headed? Certainly, I clearly had that lesson on Sunday when plans for a public labryinth dedication were forced to be changed at the very last minute. We later amended the mantra to be "recalculating with grace". We invite you all to adopt this mantra.

Lynn shared a story about her brother and sister-in-law that is wonderful to share. Her brother was concerned about his appearance, was reassured by Lynn that he looked fine and then his wife declared that he should "proceed with confidence". We should all take those words to heart and proceed though our lives with confidence.

A poem to share with permission from Shirley A. Serviss - I found this poem on the intenet and shared it yesterday at our celebration:
Step by Step
by Shirley A. Serviss

We enter the labyrinth--this sacred space--
not knowing our way, not knowing how the day
will unfold, what the outcome may be.
In the labyrinth we have nothing to fear;
the path will become clear as we take one step
after the other. All we need do is keep on going.
All we need ever do is continue to take
the next step to see where it takes us.

We are each on our own journey,
can take our own time, move at our own pace.
The only race we´re in is the human one.
We are kin to all who walk this way,
searching for guidance in place of uncertainty,
hope in place of despair. Namaste-
our spirits greet each other as we meet on the path.

In the labyrinth, we move in circles, but are not lost.
We find our way through what appears to be a maze,
learning patience as it twists and turns, seemingly
taking too long, taking us further from our goal,
before it doubles back around, finally bringing us
to a place where all becomes clear.

Now we prepare to re-enter: our work, our world,
our lives. We make progress, only to regress--
no straight road to follow. We take comfort in the walking:
the meditative meandering of the labyrinth,
the guidance of the lines, the reassurance
we will find our way through the challenges we face
as we continue to place one foot in front of the other.

Have a terrific week ahead!


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