Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Not So Fast – The Cosmic Walk

Phebe Hanson has also written an account of a trip to Europe, together with her friend Joan Murphy Pride. The full title is Not So Fast: A European Grand Tour at a Mid-Life Pace, and like Phebe's other books, you can find it here and there and should really rush out to secure a copy of your own before they disappear.

Writer Judith Guest gave this synopsis, which I found in an on-line copy of a Minneapolis League of Catholic Women newsletter: “Here’s a look into a couple of witty, savvy minds as they travel together and exchange views on—well, you name it. From marriage to motherhood, terrorism to how French dogs bark, luggage carriers to language barriers, there’s nobody funnier or faster than Phoebe Hanson or more honest and astute than Joan Pride. Together they sail through Europe with style as they reflect upon their lives, lamenting past mistakes and laughing over shared memories. It’s much more than a travel journal, it’s two old friends exploring their inner and outer worlds while they revel in each other’s

(Phebe's name is misspelled in the piece, making it like the bird, and not like the Biblical figure.)

The newsletter also mentions the Tapestries of Kopanang, 31 panels embroidered by women in South Africa, commissioned by the Faithful Fools Street Ministry in San Francisco. These tapestries tell the 14 billion year story of evolution, and have been described in this way by Miriam MacGillis, OP, of Genesis Farm: "This is a story, the story of the Cosmos, the story of earth, the story of humans, the gazelle, the mountains, the story of you and me. In the beginning was the mystery, the churning of quantum foam of potentiality. Through the mystery all things came to be. Not one thing had its being but through the mystery."

I enjoyed the lucky juxtaposition of the book Not So Fast with news about the 14 billion year Cosmic Walk. I also find it quite fascinating that you can locate an article in the The African News Journal – of all places – about an event that was held in Phebe's honor on Saturday, March 8, 2008, at the Brookdale Library in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. It was International Women's Day and Phebe Hanson's 80th birthday. That piece (the dateline is my mom's birthday, February 27th) gives a good summary of some of Phebe's many achievements, and mentions the fact that "coffee and cake will be served." (Making me wonder if any romances were kindled there, on the order of the family romance in Phebe's poem "Close Call"...)

When traveling through Europe, Africa, or the cosmos (for that matter), be sure to take a good book, a diary, a friend, and embroidery thread. Try to slow down the pace as much as you can, and then transmit the story of your adventures and observations to others.

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