My Table Is Spread

Messages in air and architecture


Our next-door neighbors built their house in 1951. Now, Bob is dead and Mildred has moved to a retirement home and the house is for sale.

Architect Elizabeth Wright Ingraham, the granddaughter of Frank Lloyd Wright, designed the house. The low wooden structure opens onto a lush, walled garden, shaded and sheltered by a large linden tree. Apricot trees are espaliered along the western bricks separating our houses.

When all I want is a Blue Moon ...


A friend emailed me the other day. She wanted to know if I was experiencing the same "Catholic fatigue" that ails her. You know the symptoms: You're at a party, headed for the beer cooler, when someone whose face you recognize but whose name you don't know pins you up against the stainless steel Sub-Zero and begins to depose you on Catholic hospitals (all of them) and the Plan B contraceptive.

Guidelines for talking about the church


We talk about schism and purges. We talk about a leaner church, a remnant church. Many are convinced of sinister forces at work, and on the rise. In journals of opinion, at dinner parties, at family gatherings, at coffee and donuts after Mass, Catholics are talking.

I think we need some guidelines for these discussions, ways to bring them out of the fog of conspiracy and into the light of real conversation.

Around the deathbed and the birth bed


On Dec. 21, my mother died. On Jan. 21, my granddaughter was born.

As my mother lay dying, my children came to say goodbye to their grandmother, the woman they knew as Atoo. For most of her last few days, mother did not open her eyes or speak. We kept vigil. On Monday afternoon, I turned to my older son, who is a physician, and asked him, “Why can’t she open her eyes?”


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In This Issue

June 16-29, 2017