My brother–in an Otavalo cemetery

Dell and Me in Yucatan, 1963

This beautiful essay is by my brother, Dell Blair. Dell and I love Central and South America. Dell speaks Quichua and Spanish. Our siblings tended to go more to China. Dad went everywhere. This is one of the great Blair legacies. We do not tour. We root ourselves in places and people. Dell's essay shows it so movingly.Amado Maldonado.Shoulder deep into the dark soil the shovel tip snagged the edge of another casket.“Good,” said Rafael. “Dig to the end and down. Just make a l … [Read more...]

CAVES, CLOISTERS, AND TEMPLES (Part 2)

poor clares

(Part I of this series is here.)CloistersWhen my friend Robinlee and I visited the Old Mission in Santa Barbara, California, we happened on two statues--one of St. Francis of Assisi and the other of St. Clare. Most Christians are familiar with St. Francis's life and words. We sing his poem, "All Creatures of our God and King", which celebrates nature as God's grand cathedral. St. Francis and his chaste friend, Clare, began new orders for monks and nuns on Palm Sunday in the year 1212. … [Read more...]

That “Third” Conversation? Never, No Never!

baptism of carmella

Fourth grade can be terrible. Not only do you get introduced to hard math, but all the kids start experimenting with identity and control. In my fourth grade class, a particular girl was in charge. Of everything. If she liked you, she would call you to tell you what color of dress to wear. (Yes, this was in the days when girls always wore dresses.) Sometimes, she would test your loyalty. She did this to my classmate, Laurie. She told Laurie to twist Barbara Hatch's arm. We were all at … [Read more...]

I Broke Down at the Veil

blair wedding

In this post, I'm going to include something I wrote for By Common Consent in November, when my father made his last trip to the temple to be with my niece, Amber, his granddaughter, who was being endowed.  It was miraculous that Dad was able to attend.  Another niece of mine, Kristen, will be endowed on Friday, but we will not get the miracle this time.  Dad is not up to it.We talked last night, Dad and I, for a couple of hours.  That was remarkable, because he is usually too tired for much … [Read more...]


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