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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The Great Continuum

This week I will make my way to college, my satchel a deadlift of course texts, to teach another year.

Four hundred miles away, my niece has just taken up residence in her freshman dorm at a large state university.  She and her parents have completed the ritual acts of transition: outfitting her new room (bean bag chairs, bright pink and yellow rugs, towels and throws, a fridg and the other usual appurtenances).   She is exuberant.  She loves her new friends and her pre-med classes.  No slouch, she is getting up at 6 each morning  to practice for varsity crew try-outs.

We are traveling in parallel, my niece and I.  I find myself looking at her as from the wrong end of a telescope, one in which she grows smaller and further away, and ask myself:  Was I ever as confident and idealistic, as full of risk-taking zeal, as she is?



Italian Fashion — Recycled Bags for Fall


I don’t ordinarily put merchandise up on this site.  But every once in a blue moon something crosses my path that is worth sharing.  Johnny’s bags fit the bill.

My friend Johnny lives in paradise in Chianti country with his wife, the gifted cookbook author Pamela Sheldon Johns.  Together, they offer unforgettable hospitality, cooking classes, and guidance to the region’s culinary and archeological treasure trove.

Johnny is an artist.  Thees bags — composed of recycled Italian movie posters — are his.  They are waterproof, durable, capacious, and best of all, gorgeous.  No — best of all — they are lined with recycled khaki pants, so you get lots of cool pockets.

You won’t find these in any catalog or Etsy or online store.  If you are interested, you can contact him directly:  courtneyjohns@aol.com.

Also available in white (flip side of posters).

Tell him I sent you!

Ciao bella


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.