I was reminded yesterday by a newspaper clipping that three people I have admired from afar- Julia Childs, Elizabeth Kuebler Ross, and Czeslaw Milosz- all passed away this summer after very long and productive lives. I couldn't possibly do justice to the lives of these three, and actually have read only smatterings of their works. But what I got was enough to help me along with my personal journey. For me they each were like distant pole-stars, representatives of a philosophy which accepts and then celebrates the cold clay of life. I was brought up on St. Augustine's manic Manicheism, in which the daily world was at best a distraction to higher aspirations. It took a long time for me after college, starting with Karl Rogers but with Kuebler-Ross not far behind, to realize that for me life has got to be about living. Cooking, loving, dying, it all *is*, and it makes me happier to try to think it's all good.
I wrestled with that last line; the kids at Beslan came back to me.
Good bye, you three. May other oaks grow in the places you left.