Letters To A Young Poet And A Chili To Warm The Winter

Along with my father as the number #1 fan of this blog – thank you pops, Timmy is at the top of the list. Timmy has been in my life as long as I can recall. He is an artist, a lover of dogs and nature, a seeker, and a friend along with many other things. Timmy used to take me every Friday along with our companion and friend–his dog Voltaire. We had adventures of every kind that he collected in the most stunning book for me called FRIDAYS, yes Timmy, somewhere in the attic on Bryant Street it is still resting, I read it many times as I grew up.

Timmy has always sent me treasures – autumn leaves, post cards from far off places or from long past historic times. He sent our family art made of found objects that he put together into heightened scenes; he single-handedly started many of my book collections (including copies of RAMONA by Helen Hunt Jackson). Since I have started the blog Timmy has sent me notes, cards, and e-mails about many of my posts. At times he has even quoted me back to me. He has always had insightful and delightful things to share. And so it happened the other night that I received an e-mail titled Destiny about the latest post here. And in it he sent me this note

Dear Ramona, When I read about your Cheerios destiny, I was reminded of that famous passage from Rilke’s “Letters to a Young Poet,” which your mother loved:

I want to beg you as much as I can–to be patient toward all that is unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek answers which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them.  And the point is to live them.  Live the questions now.  Perhaps you will then, gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer–take whatever comes with great trust, and if only it comes out of your own will, out of some need of your innermost being, take it upon yourself and hate nothing.”

Thank you Timmy so very much for all the light you bring into my life, all of the gifts, art, cards, and notes. And in a strange way it comes full circle for at the start of the year I found myself needing to start a new Morning Pages book and the card I choose to look at each day just happened to be from Timmy with this very same quote. And thank you Timmy for that too.

In addition to a new book for my daily ramblings, I started the new year with a big pot of this delicious chili that I wanted to share here. My sister asked me a few months ago if I had a good chili recipe and it tasked me to finally write my recipe down. This is a recipe I have used for years every winter as it combines three of my favorite recipes into one. There is a lot of play to this chili though, while it is vegetarian you could easily add meat. I change the way I garnish it almost every time, sometimes I want more heat and I add a jalapeno or I change the beans. But this base recipe never fails me, and it never fails to warm my winter inside out.

Timmy I am sending you big hugs and a chili recipe.


Your friend and fan from an early age, your co-adventurer every Friday,


2 cups chopped onions
1 red or green bell pepper diced
1 or 2 carrots diced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 garlic cloves minced or pressed
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon unsweetened coco
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 15 oz can beans red kidney beans with liquid
1 15 oz can mixed beans or black beans depends on mood you could also use a second can of kidney beans with liquid
1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes (I really like using fire roasted with green chills not spicy but gives yummy flavor but up to you)
2 tablespoons chocolate chips

In a big heavy bottom pot cook onions, bell pepper, and carrot in oil.

When veggies are starting to get soft and onion translucent add garlic and saute for a min until garlic starts to smell.

Add salt, chili powder, cumin, coco, and cinnamon and sauté for a min or less. Add beans with liquid and tomatoes with liquid.

Add chocolate chips (I know sounds crazy but so good). Reduce heat and simmer rapidly uncovered for about 20 min-30 min  or until most of the liquid has cooked away and chili is thickened, stir frequently to prevent scorching.

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01 2013

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  1. Jess #

    I want this quote in a frame in my house. I am totally inspired.

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