Kathleen Hirsch | Blog and spiritual writings of Kathleen Hirsch
Blog and spiritual writings of Kathleen Hirsch including an archive of her columns for BostonGlobe.com and Cruxnow.com
Spiritual writing, Kathleen Hirsch, crux, cruxnow
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Stringing Up Lights in August

Fog greets me these mid-August mornings, the first birch leaves shiver into weary lavender.  Long after the torrid nights of summer’s barbecues, I am stringing strands of lights from the garage to my deck.

Anyone looking in would conclude that I’ve lost the almanac, so terribly out of sync as the good times are about to end.  But I have my reasons.


Carte Blanche

A Meditative Summer Find

My friend, the sculptor and paper artist Julie Levesque, has given us a summer gift:  her one-woman show at the Rice/Polak Gallery in Provincetown, MA.

Her quiet, white and shadow pieces, composed of the materials we find around us every day — sand, bits of flown paper, salt and dust — give me pause, which is just what we should be doing before those foggy mornings draw us back to desks and monitors and to-do lists.  The subtle tonal shifts and play of light are as thought-provoking and restorative a walk on the beach at dawn.

Take a virtual look, if you can’t make it to P’town.  It’s worth the time.



Letting Summer be Summer

In this crazy time, when it’s so difficult to maintain our inner balance and calm, we would do well to slow down, make a few sand castles, and examine the choices we are making about our values, the ways we are spending our time, and what truly matters.

This link will take you to a piece I wrote for The Boston Globe’s Op Ed section today.

Letting Summer be Summer




Admissible Evidence

I am keenly aware this summer of how constricted our vision of ourselves becomes in the shadow of crisis.  Innocent people are killed by horrific and heartbreaking abuses of power, and we respond as textbook victims of post-traumatic stress.

We freeze. We blame.  We obsess.  We suggest solutions that salve symptoms, not underlying causes.  Worst of all, we become stuck in the narrative, repeating it endlessly in public discourse.

As a story teller and a teacher of public narrative, I see the ways in which our larger story withers in times of crisis.  It is the most dangerous thing that happens to us, long after a specific tragedy has run its course.



Eternal Dog

Finally, a year and three months after her death, I was ready to lay my sweet daschund to rest.  The plan was to set her ashes high up on a hill overlooking the meadows, at the ridge of our farm.  I would plant a magnolia and some ferns, and find a flea market bench, so that every time I went north I could climb the hill and talk to her.

But what did I know?  She had other ideas.



Simple Attention

My friend Anne, who lives in South Carolina, recently undertook a major simplification project.  She and her husband downsized from a vast antebellum home in which they’d raised their family to a sleek and simple house on the beach, complete with meditation room and art studio.

Her aim was radical attention.

It took her two years.  But in many ways, I think of it as a project of a lifetime.