The Watcher Cat

The Watcher Cat

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Giving thanks is something that is so often rote, if not omitted altogether. And, yet, liturgically, some of the most beautiful words we have are words of thanks:
Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we, thine unworthy servants, do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and lovingkindness to us, and to all men; We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all, for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful; and that we show forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to thy service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.
I'm giving thanks this year for the end of a long, painful process of saying farewell to s relationship that died, after becoming shockingly co-dependent and destructive for both of us, and trying to move beyond the rancor. I knew the relationship was dying when I completely saw myself in this:

Endings can be both painful and worth being thankful for.

So too can beginnings, and in the same period, I have been blessed with the support of a wonderful partner, my family and a faith community that greeted me warmly *and put me to work, but fair dos)

I hope your holidays are sacred and not (too) profane!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Good Cause Alert!

The Order of the Holy Cross is the subject of this story in today's Times, detailing the loss of their Mount Calvary Monastery in the fires that swept southern California since last Thursday.

This part is very OHC:
Brother Brown said the monks, part of the Order of the Holy Cross, spent much of Tuesday meeting with an insurance agent and a contractor to discuss their options. Though the coastal mountains of Montecito were dear to their hearts, he said, they “need time to pray and discern” whether to rebuild there, and if so, how to go about it.

“And we’re like, ‘Hmm, how do we get a hold of Oprah?’ ” he added, speaking of another famous Montecito property owner, Oprah Winfrey, who was not there during the fire but who said on her show last week that she had made a plan to send her staff and dogs to stay at a nearby resort, and that her home was safe.
Prayers for the brothers, whose guest at their West Park, New York monastery I have been, are solicited--by me, that is. They do good work, with a light touch.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

On Veterans Day

With thanks to those who yesterday, today and tomorrow have served, are serving, or will serve our country, especially Calvin Schuh (US Navy, World War I), Fred Kalkbrenner (US Army, World War II). You are remembered, with love.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

From :
Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and
keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home
and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly
grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give
them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant
them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Loss of a Classmate

From the Times::
HAEMMERLI--Alice Braverman who died on October 25, was a lawyer, scholar and teacher, who took great delight in both legal argument and in her writing on intellectual properties. In the job she held as Assistant Dean of International Programs and Graduate Legal Studies at the Columbia University School of Law (from which she retired in 2006), she was responsible for both the graduate and international programs. In that capacity, she guided many foreign post-graduate students through the rigors of the American system, and many of them from Jerusalem to Paris, Rome, and South Africa, will remember her with great admiration and affection. Her articles were published in numerous law reviews and she was cited by the Supreme Court on a variety of intellectual property issues. Before Columbia, Alice was a member of the Law Firm of Debevoise and Plimpton where she specialized in intellectual property. Prior to that she was the Director of Public Policy at Chase Manhattan Bank. Most recently, she worked in Pennsylvania for Barack Obama's election. Born in New York City, Alice attended Hunter College High School, and went on to graduate summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Vassar College. She was a brilliant student and won both a Woodrow Wilson Scholarship, and a Fulbright Fellowship which took her to the London School of Economics for her first MA. At Harvard, she earned a second MA in International Relations as well as her Ph.D. in International Law. Her Juris Doctor was granted by Columbia. It was in Cambridge that she met her late husband, Alfred Haemmerli, and they had a long and fruitful marriage until Freddy's death in 2001. Their daughter Justine, who was the most important thing in their lives, continues the family tradition as a dedicated teacher. Her work was important to Alice, but she also took huge pleasure in family, friends and her pastimes, especially riding her horse, French, as well as travel, reading, and music. She is survived by her beloved daughter, Justine, her sisters, Laura Shannon and Marta Bartolozzi, twin brother David, niece, Heather Shannon and dearest lifelong friend, Reggie Nadelson. She will be sorely missed by all those whose lives she touched.
Alice and I entered Columbia Law together, and I always enjoyed her wit, her fire, and her fierce commitment to truth. As is all too often the case, I lost touch with her after graduation, until a few years ago when she and I ran into each other near the Law School.

My sincere condolences to her family; if, as Harry Flashman once said, each death diminishes us, but some more than others, then Alice's loss is one of those.

Vogue a la galere, my friend. Let your ship sail free.