Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Punctuation matters

As some of you (okay, just one) will recall, I decided to name this blog Sort Quench & Dump after all my other ideas were rejected by the August Panel of Experts called in to judge all things titular. I had seen a sign on the factory floor of a textile waste processing plant that said just that: SORT QUENCH & DUMP. I immediately copied down the sign and uttered those three words to myself, mantra-wise, all day long. What an appealing trio. How much better that it was the three of them, better than merely Sort Quench, or Quench Dump. (I needn’t mention that old Trinitarian saw about things coming in threes.) Without knowing exactly what it meant I assumed it was a three word phrase composed of three verbs in the imperative form, in sequence, instructing the reader how to treat of a certain type of textile waste.
Well I was wrong.

Dad may have forgotten much of the last 50 years (What are we doing in Iraq? Do we want them as a colony?), but he still knows more or less everything there is to know about the business of textile waste, buying it, processing it and selling it.
So he informed me last night that the title of the blog was mis-punctuated. It should be Sort quench, and dump. As in: First you Sort the quench, and then you Dump it.
Quench (And you will not find this definition in a dictionary) is fused bits of synthetic waste. Occasionally when the machinery overheats some of the synthetic waste (quench is normally about .01%) will melt and thus fuse together to form hard bits that have to be removed because they cannot be torn apart in the shredding machines. Hence: Sort quench, and dump.
Correction duly noted and applied.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Things to do in Hingham while staying with the Aged P’s.

(Mom, I know you sometimes read this so please note that Aged P's is form of endearment, Dickensian in origin.)

• Take Dad to his personal trainer, who tells me Dad is a very unusual client in that he prefers to discuss solar panels and globalization rather than Brittany Spears. Dad, who has no clue who BS is, wants to know if she is pretty.

• Swim laps, slowly, like a frog. Use time to think about my story called “Gone to the Amazon” – water is the unifying theme - and also to think about formerly swimming laps in the pool of my former in-laws and the tortured relationship of former in-laws as well as ex-husband with said pool. (Scene of debauches, dunkings, & debunkings.) It’s only a pool, you say. Correctimundo. I actually like swimming pools, outdoors not in, and though one should prefer swimming in water in its natural element (oceanic, riverine, lagunal) I really do like the pool and the light on the pool.
Note: Parental pool looks nothing like this. No palm trees for starters.

• Look at family photographs that are displayed in tasteful groups all over the parental house and count how many pictures there are of me relative to how many there are of my siblings. For instance, I sleep in one of the upstairs bedrooms (“my” old room has long since ceased to be “Christine’s” room and is now my father’s upstairs office. I will not point out that the rooms my siblings occupied are still identified as B’s room, or P’s room or M’s or…. you get the idea. But I don’t mind that.) And on the mantelpiece is an array of framed family snapshots, in which Michael appears 5 x, Carl thrice, Brigitte thrice, and Peter and I once. This is only one room out of several and so it would be a mistake to generalize. But I will, and I do. I would make graphs if graph making were one of my skills.

• Eat ripe melon.

• Endlessly ride the recumbent bicycle while reading (looking at) The Best Cartoons of 1957 full of painfully sweet, and yes, innocent, cartoons, featuring men in hats and woman in aprons and other woman with flamboyant, buoyant bosoms and cupidesque lips.

• Gossip with my mother, mostly about other family members.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Al fresco

No one has ever accused me of having a green thumb, nor has anyone ever suggested that I was farm-hand material, so it is with a constant sense of surprise and delight that I find myself harvesting zucchinis, gathering basi, unearthing beets and picking beans from beanstalks, and …you get the idea. How did this wondrous thing happen? Well the answer should be obvious: CSB grows it. Then I get to harvest and cook it.

So, having plucked and picked, what do I do with all this plenty, after having unloaded as many vegetables & berries as possible on my friends?

I make zucchini bread (Not a great success). Rumor has it that my sister made disparaging remarks about anyone deluded enough to consider honey as sufficient sweetener in baked goods.

(On a vaguely unrelated note: last night we tasted Kilimanjaro honey brought to us by our friend Mim who has just returned from Tanzania. We detected the aroma of tobacco. Mysterious, that. I think Kilimanjaro counts as the most exotic honey we’ve ever tried. So far.)

Then I make zucchini soup. Much more successful. Last night it was Chilled Zucchini & Avocado Soup. The cumin is essential. Isn’t cumin always essential?

Tonight it will be Zucchini and Rosemary soup.

Also pesto. Lots and lots of pesto. The key to good pesto is picking the basil with the morning dew still on the leaves, then quickly plucking the leaves from the stalks, and then quickly putting it together with the garlic (see earlier post re garlic – it came out very well), nuts of your choice, olive oil and Parmesan. The most labor intensive and time-consuming part of the process is plucking the leaves from the stalks; and in this family we have learned to read personalities from a person’s basil-plucking methods. One friend of Tristram’s was the most meticulous basil plucker ever known to man, and in fact he is a meticulous and honorable young man. Another friend, of the more absent minded variety, plucks a leave, discourses on obscure mathematical problems, plucks another leave, describes the most recent occasion of his getting lost in front of his own house, plucks another leaf, and so on.

Also bean salad. I use my mother’s recipe, which includes cucumbers, feta cheese, olives and red onions. The goal is to make it taste as much as possible like my mother’s.

And the beets. Did I mention the sweet young beets?

We gave the jalapeño peppers to Gill to test their hotness. If she says they are just hot enough, we will know they are too hot for anyone else.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

All the Saint Christinas

I feel confident in saying – and I have it on good authority – that I was named for none of the Saint Christina’s who are celebrated today.

But that doesn’t make me less interested in them, weird and distressed as they are or were.

Saints Christina of Tyre, of Bolsena and The Astonishing are all celebrated today. Given the fact that the C’s of Tyre and Bolsena are probably one and the same, a legend reshaped and retold, it makes sense that they share the day. Why they share the day with Christina the Astonishing, whose existence is verifiable, if astonishing, is merely random.

Both Christina of Tyre and she of Bolsena were third century Christians with pagan parents, and in both cases they are known for their elaborate and extravagant and yes - highly unbelievable – martyrdoms. Their tortures included – but are not limited to:
– She was tossed into a lake with a millstone tied round her neck (see painting above of St C standing on said millstone) and miraculously surviving
– Her tongue was cut out but she kept preaching, and in fact, got better at it. She threw the severed tongue at her judge, who was then blinded in one eye.
– Her flesh was torn out with hooks and she picked up a piece and threw it at the judge. (See above.)
– She was thrown into a furnace and remained there, unharmed, for five days.
– She was placed in a tub of boiling pitch and oil with four men to fan the flames and rock the pot; Christina was as comfortable there as in her cradle.

You get the idea. They say she was done in, finally, by an arrow to the heart. Or through her neck.

This all happened, to the extent it happened at all, during the reign of Diocletian, whose palace in Split, in what is now Croatia, my neighbor, Dawn, will be visiting sometime next week, and I am hoping very much for a postcard.

Christina the Astonishing, a 13th century Belgium orphan, was thought to have died. Then at her funeral mass she regained consciousness and levitated to the roof of the church, refusing to come down until the mass was over. (It doesn’t do to think too hard about all the possibilities for premature burial in the good old days.) Following that performance she lived for the next few years in abject poverty and apparent derangement. She found the smell of sinful humans so offensive that she preferred to stick her head in ovens. She levitated on several more occasions. But after a while she calmed down, and lived to a ripe old age in a convent, revered by all.

I am assured that my parents had none of these ladies in mind when they named me Christine. But they will not tell me who or what they did have in mind.

Marmota monax redux & redux

As for the woodchuck, he's still very happy, thank you very much, eating all the plenty of CSB's newest garden, especially the broccoli and cauliflower. And I was so looking forward so chou-fleur(being one of the most mellifluous words in any language).

Every morning CSB goes out to check on his Hav-a-Heart trap and every morning his frustration increases because Woody has set it off but escaped capture, again. Not that I am feeling especially heart-ful vis a vis the voracious Woody. Given that the Conservation Status ranking (Which goes from LC to VU/vulnerable to EX/Extinct. There is also DD/Data deficient.) of woodchucks is "Least Concern" I would very gladly see Woody take a long walk off a short pier. Given that woodchucks are supposed to be very fond of clover, and we have plenty of clover at his disposal and yet he still eats our precious vegetables, I would happily see Woody meet his maker.

I would like to feel more tenderly towards woodchucks and their wood chucking abilities, but I find I cannot.

Dogs and bees have patron saints. Woodchucks do not. That should tell us something.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Crossword warp mystery

I am totally flummoxed. I sat down to do this morning's crossword puzzle (NY Times, Wednesday 7/23) and quickly noticed something odd: in the small print above the puzzle there was no creator name, just "puzzle by" and then nada. And below the puzzle there was no date, just "//07(no.0)."
That was odd but I thought that in doing the puzzle it would be solved.
So I started the puzzle (Flicker: DANCE), then a few more. I noticed that the ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE in the lower left corner was not yesterday's puzzle but today's - the VERY SAME puzzle I was solving.
That too was odd but again I thought all would be revealed when I solved the whole puzzle. I cut the solved grid out and put it aside because of course to have it right there, now that I knew what it was, would ruin the fun.
So I finished the puzzle. It's Wednesday so it was pretty easy. ARTless, therefore Satanic one = He of Darkness.
I checked out a few crossword blogs and then I was completely confused, and still am. They referred to an entirely different puzzle.
Did I receive an altered paper this morning?
Is this a new form of puzzle gaslighting?

Please help. Needless to say this will drive me crazy all day and if I already waste time doing crossword puzzles, imagine how much time can disappear into the maw of ridiculous-alien-mind-warp-anxiety.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


It is Common Knowledge that I am not ahead of the curve on much but today's papers lead me to believe that in one thing I am, or was. According to the Times jellyfish have arrived early, and annoyingly, to the shores of New York, and even the Journal News reports of jellyfish stinging local swimmers. I, however, was stung by a jellyfish LAST summer.
Having, in our carefree youth, spent many happy hours tossing slimy jellyfish at my assorted siblings and cousins on New England beaches and rocky shores, you would think I would know a jellyfish when it stung me.
But I did not. I felt a tingling in my left arm and a weird numbing sensation traveled up to my shoulders, and I quickly went into panic mode and told CSB I thought I was having a heart attack. Was I diaphoretic? No. Was I experiencing any other pain? No. Was there any reason to think I was having a heart attack? No.
Then it wasn’t a duck.
It was a jellyfish. Probably a Moon jellyfish, the clear kind, like Jell-O without the food coloring.


My dear friend Paco advises that I keep the hagiographic tales to a minimum, out of compassion for my readers, and since I value Paco’s opinion highly and often (though not always) follow his suggestions, I will forgo mentioning Saint Helier, the patron saint of Jersey, who – even after 13 years on a starvation diet, had the strength to pick up his decapitated head and carry it to the shore, thus making him a cephalophore. (And I am so fond of cephalophores.) Nor will I mention Saint Praxides, a virtuous Roman maiden, whose only claim to our attention is as the subject of Vermeer’s first painting, which has been universally debunked and declared not a Vermeer at all.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Blue Food

I’ve been picking a lot of blueberries. We have a bumper crop this year, thanks to CSB’s excellent pruning and the bees’ pollination. It is more or less impossible to pick all the blueberries out there, but I will keep trying, and encourage my friends to come and help.

Years ago I read in a book by J.K. Huysman – whom I imagine to have been a very decadent libertine of the 19th French variety, except for the odd fact that he wrote THE biography of Saint Lydwin of Schiedam, the 12th century Dutch mystic, visionary and mistress of self-mortification, also an anorexic of sorts: for 19 years she survived on the Eucharist alone – called Against the Grain in which he described an entirely black meal. Caviar, squid, truffles and who knows what else were served on black china in a black lacquered room by naked Negresses, and so forth. *

That inspired me to create color themed meals.

I’ve done pretty well with red and green, even orange. But blue has been challenging.

Blue food is good for you. (Think antioxidant.)

There is never enough blue food.

It is (thus far, in my efforts) impossible to serve an entire meal of blue food. (Obviously, food coloring is not allowed, ever.)
Eggplants (Aubergines) are purple and can be used as being legitimately on the blue spectrum. But that pretty much exhausts the world’s supply of blue food.
I would love to learn of some other blue foods out there.

Another blueberry fact you may like to know: blueberries are among the three, ONLY THREE, fruits native to North America. The other two are cranberries and concord grapes. I don’t know where I learned this, but I sincerely believe it to be a FACT.

* It was many years ago when I read this book and it is entirely possible that I have seriously misremembered the black meal episode. It is entirely possible that I have made up either the whole thing or significant parts of it.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Serial (The Quickies), Part 7

Can anyone out there remember parts one through six? Read forward, read backwards.

7. In the year before she died, Rachel Zinc heard from the sister she didn’t know she had. It was the old story. It was always someone’s newest story. Their parents, having sent their daughters to safety in Canada, died in Auschwitz in the last week of the war. Afterwards, two American couples adopted the girls, Rachel and her older sister Miriam. Things were confused at the time, and so siblings were sometimes separated like that. Both girls were beloved by their parents. Rachel was happily married, with two sons and a daughter, when the sister she thought was long dead contacted her. Miriam suggested a DNA test to allay any doubts Rachel might have. Doubts were impossible once they met, by the big clock in Grand Central Station. They looked like sisters. They felt like sisters. Both women had aged in the same way, getting plump in the midsection. They both dyed their grey hair the same shade of brown. They both favored tailored pants and sensible shoes. They had both married men named Howard, Rachel’s a dentist and Miriam’s an urologist. They both loved the same silly romantic comedies. They were not twins, but a stranger could be forgiven for thinking so. A week later Rachel received the biopsy results. The last year of Rachel’s life was eerily happy. She felt at peace with her sister as she had never felt in her other life, and yet she was someone who had always thanked her lucky stars. The happiness prevailed, except in the middle of the night, when she woke up sweating from the same nightmare in which she was clawing her way up a crumbling stone wall, on the other wide of which was her childhood. The dream was so vivid that she couldn’t help but check her fingers upon waking, expecting to find fragments of the friable rock lodged beneath the nails.
Susanna Dewitt had gone so long between dentist visits that when she finally saw Dr. Howard Zinc about the sensitivity to cold in her upper right molar, he had lots of news to catch her up on. Susanna Dewitt had been his patient for thirty-eight years. She knew the names of Howard’s children, and he knew the history of all her crowns. First he complimented her on her agility with the prosthetic leg – she was a natural, he said. Then he started the narration with his late wife’s happy reunion with her newfound sister, segued straight to her sad death and his grieving, and then moved onto his subsequent reentry into the dating scene. Of course it wasn’t all as fast as it seemed. Howard Zinc wasn’t a heartless man by any means. But he couldn’t deny that he was pleasantly surprised to discover what a sought after commodity he was on said dating scene. And already he was no longer dating, in the ‘looking’ sense of the word, because he had met his soul mate, a widow with a brilliant sense of humor and a handicap of three.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Thirsty in Chile

The sweet frenzy of the extraction is my only excuse for failing to mention, yesterday, the feast of Saint Teresa de los Andes, if only because she was the first Chilean saint, the first Chilean to be canonized, and it just so happens that my new novel (can you stand the wait?) hinges upon a race to have a certain ancestral maiden aunt officially declared the first Nicaraguan saint.

But when I think of Saint Teresa de los Andes (a Discalced Carmelite mystic who died at the appallingly young age of 20) I tend remember Difunta Correa, because they are both Chilean and I first learned of them both in Chile, and yes it’s a big (LONG) country and so this might well fall under the D0-you-know-my-Aunt-Sally?-She-also-lives-in-New York-Fallacy.

Difunta Correa is not a real saint and unlikely to ever be one, and maybe she never even existed.

Her shrines throughout Chile & Argentina could be mistaken for impromptu recycling centers – until you notice that all the plastic bottles are still full of water. Because the legendary Difunta died of thirst while crossing the arid plains, her devotees leave the bottles to assuage her eternal thirst. The miracle attributed to her is that her nursing infant lived on after his mother’s death, taking nourishment from her breast, until gauchos discovered them.

First extraction of the season

As we set out to extract honey this past weekend, it became abundantly clear that we have a certain workplace dialectic going on here. That is, CSB is strictly clean and hygienic and I am, shall we say, laissez-faire. I figure that if honey is used as an antibiotic to heal post–surgical wounds, it can certainly handle the insertion of my fingertip for a taste. But not CSB. He takes a clean jar and sterilizes it. He gets upset if I smudge a jar. And he gets especially upset if any stray bee bits get in the honey. And while I realize that not everyone recognizes the health benefits of actually ingesting pieces of wax and propolis and bee anatomy, I certainly do, and recommend it.
Whose workroom rules prevail? Silly question. CSB's of course. So far he hasn’t yet made me wear gloves when I bottle the honey but I fear we are moving in that direction.

I am filled with an almost atavistic serenity, an all's-right-with-world sense of abundance when I watch the golden honey pour out - richly, thickly golden, amber, forestal, champagnesque. As quart after quart sluices over the lip of the extractor, I can only wonder that each ounce of honey required a bee to travel about 1600 round trips to gather nectar. A pound of honey is the result of about 2 million flowers. Since a single bee visits somewhere between 50 and 1000 flowers a day, that means that it takes a single bee at the very least 2 days to make an ounce of honey.

Of course this is not about a single bee, but about the hive.

So the honey pours out, I fill one hexagonal jar after another, and then I bring down the stopcock and put on the lids (also washed and meticulously dried by CSB, lest any stray moisture get into the honey and promote crystallization.). Have I mentioned how much I like any activity that allows me to use, with impunity, words like stopcock?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The moose (plural)

It is a truth universally acknowledged that when I enter the state of Maine, the resident moose all decide, unanimously, in unspoken but clear communication, upon a course of action, to wit, to vacate the state. Perhaps they decide to vacation over the border, perhaps they take the opportunity to visit relatives in New Hampshire. It is not known where they go. It is known that they go elsewhere. When I am in the state of Maine there is not a moose to be seen.

Or such was the case until yesterday (longer ago than that) morning, on Route 201 between Moscow and Bingham, when two moose cows (cow moose?) wandered out from a wooded swamp and stood idly at the edge of the road. Where I saw them. Where we saw them quite well. Where I managed to get a picture of them.

Of course I was and am excited and grateful to have finally, at long last, seen a moose.

But then I have to wonder and worry. Did these two cows not get the message? Are they out of the moose-loop? Were they bucking a trend? Did they lose their friends and family who are now safely in Canada? Do they suffer from a congenitally lousy sense of direction? So many questions.

Things to do in Pleasant Pond, or something for everyone

  • Wear my Bug Repellent Wrist Band ®
  • Listen to the loons call to each other at dawn. (Interesting note: Loons are bigger than you think they are - 10 to 12 pounds bigger. I have this on good authority from my sister who swam under one and got rather nervous. How was she able to get so close, you may ask? She does excellent loon imitations. She has received awards for her loon imitations.)
  • Watch Daisy leap from the dock. (NB: Daisy is an excellent swimmer. In their puppyhood, we tried to convince Bruno to dog paddle along with his sister. He was never persuaded, and we are now resigned to his aquatic aversion. Not only can she swim, Daisy can dive.)
  • Kayak to Bowden’s Rock, take off our clothes, lie on the hot boulders, swim, dry off on the hot boulders, and kayak back to camp
  • Read old copies of Down East
  • Complete jigsaw puzzles, very difficult old wooden puzzles of fuzzy & marginally bucolic country scenes featuring barns, trees in midsummer. On the boxes, written faintly in pencil in perfect penmanship: One piece missing [out of 1500] or Completed with Aunt Florence at the pond, July 1958 [ Aunt Florence died in August of that year]
  • Read several old (but not as old as the Down Easts) copies of NYRB and learn many interesting things:
  • • Akbar, the Mughal emperor, was a devout vegetarian;
  • • Beneath the deepest part of the ocean is an even deeper part called the hadal region, so named for Hades;
  • • There is something bigger than the giant squid, called the colossal squid.
  • • The relationship between Tennessee Williams and his sister Rose resembled the relationship between Henry James and his sister Alice, in certain ways.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Serial (The Quickies), Part 6

6. Less well known than the conservatory at the Botanical Gardens, and yet of enormous benefit to many, including Mrs. Susanna Dewitt, mother of Tom the chiropractor, were the Glass Gardens at the Rusk Institute providing horticultural therapy to the patients rehabilitating there. Upon losing her leg after a valiant fight against the encroaching venom of the Indochinese Sea Snake, Susanna spent six months at Rusk regaining her strength and learning to walk with a prosthetic limb. It was her right leg. She also spent the time learning to graft tree peonies. The peonies she worked on, there in the hospital’s garden hidden from the surrounding city, were all named for Greek gods and goddesses, all named by their hybridizer Nassos Daphnis: Demeter, Persephone, Hephaestus, and Leda. This pleased Susanna because she had met the late Mr. Teddy DeWitt on a Greek island and they had revisited it every year while he lived, and if he still lived she would never have gone to Vietnam and been bitten by the sea snake and so would probably still have her right leg now. Time stood still or crawled when she worked with the tree peonies, and even stiller afterwards when she walked out of the Rusk on her shapely prosthesis. It would be years before she would know if her peony grafts had taken.

And now, dear readers - if you are out there and if you are dear - I will be off the grid for about a week so this would be a good opportunity (comments section) for you to express yourselves and let me know if you are enjoying any of this blog. Or if not, though I am very thin-skinned.

Ramon Llull, who else

(This was meant to be posted yesterday, being as that was the feast of Blessed Ramon, but a series of crisis phone calls involving loss of vision, a parental trip to the hospital, anxiety and the unknown transpired instead. We hope today brings a happy resolution.)

I could be embarrassed (chagrined, ashamed, bemoaning) that I have lived to these many years unaware of the very interesting existence of Ramon Llull, or I could just be pleased to finally, belatedly have made his acquaintance.

Ramon Llull is not a saint nor is he ever likely to be one, given that Pope Gregory XI (in 1376) banned Llull’s writings and condemned his rationalistic mysticism, and Pope Paul IV followed up with a re-condemnation. Given that he has some claim to the title of alchemist. Given that he is credited with pioneering computation and influencing Leibniz. He does however have the lesser designation of a Blessed.

Born in 1232 in Majorca, Ramon was well educated as a chivalric troubadour, and fluent in several languages, including his native Catalan, Occitan, Latin and Arabic. He married and had children. And then came the defining moment, the conversion experience. There are (at least) two versions of his conversion (the conversion versions – I can’t help myself) and you can decide which one works for you:

In version numero uno Llull was a frivolous and licentious young man given to composing lyrics for the purposes of seduction. One night, as he sat down to write such a lyric he looked up and saw a vision of Christ crucified, “as if suspended in midair”. The vision was repeated five times, after which Ramon devoted his life to converting the Muslims to Christianity. (We know how successful that was.)

Version numero dos comes to us from Schopenhauer, not the cheeriest fellow. According to the philosopher, Llull had been courting a beautiful woman for a while and was at last to be admitted to her bedroom. But when he entered, she bared her bosom and revealed the ravages of her cancer. Repulsed (and converted), Llull immediately left the bedroom and the court and went into the wilderness, where he did penance for nine years.

Whichever version you chose, Ramon Llull henceforth wrote copiously (265 works, depending who’s counting) and labored - through rational discussion involving symbolic notations, diagrams and lists of all knowledge - to reveal to the Muslims the correctness of the Christian faith.

His novel Blanquerna, the first major work in Catalan, is also considered by some to be the first European novel.

But it is his Art Abreujada d’Atrobar Veritat (the Abbreviated Art of Finding Truth) that sounds most appealing to me, not least for its touted abbreviation.

Llull was a list maker. He made lists of religious and philosophical attributes, and lists of all the questions one could have about the Christian faith. And he indexed them with the appropriate answers, as a tool to be used in debating Muslims.

The Llullian Circle consisted of paper discs with letters or symbols referring to a list of attributes. By rotating the discs, singly or together, you could generate all possible combinations to show all possible truth.

One list (if only I can remember it all) that strikes my fancy is The Nine Functions of Memory. Llull names them:
1. Attractive memory
2. Receptive “
3. Conservative “
4. Multiplicative “
5. Discursive “
6. Significative “
7. Restorative “
8. Determinative “
9.Complexionative “

Llull traveled around Europe, visiting with potentates of all ilks, setting up institutes of higher learning and he always argued for the teaching of foreign languages (for the purposes of evangelizing, bien sûr).

On returning from his first trip to Tunis, he preached for the unification of the three great monotheistic religions. (A forward thinker? Or a lunatic? Can we ever tell the difference?)

On his third trip to Tunis, he was brutally stoned and died, either on the return trip to Majorca or soon thereafter, in 1315.

He is known as “Doctor Illuminatus”.