Saturday, May 16, 2015

Do You Do This?

"Notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.'"

Kurt Vonnegut 

This is on my mind today. Happy 2:58 on a Saturday afternoon to you!

Monday, May 11, 2015

It's Monday, May 11th! What Are You Reading? (Long Overdue)

Apparently I haven’t updated my reading list here since April 20th! Yikes! At that time, I was reading feverishly, but since then…well, life. (All photos courtesy of Amazon.com)

I have completed:


I LOVED this book! The writing is fantastic. The story is compelling and touching and will having you thinking about what it means to be human! Do NOT read reviews prior to delving in because there is a surprise element that, trust me, you will not want to know ahead of time!


My first collection of poetry. It broke my heart into a million tiny pieces (in a good way) and I will never be the same again. No other poetry collection will ever compare! That is until I find another of equal caliber. Simply stunning! A shout out to Rebecca at Book Riot for recommending this book!


This is what I said on Goodreads about this book:

"Translated perfectly from its native Italian; this novel is darkly stunning. The writing is gorgeous. It recounts a spiral; the depth of which I hope to never know though I could imagine it happening in a perfect storm of events. The souring of a marriage, betrayal, and its aftermath. Then mix in children. How would we pick up the pieces of our lives? It is at once stark and surprising, and touching and tender, but scary. It had me nervously awaiting what was coming next. A very visceral experience. My gut tells me to rate this 5-stars." 

Here’s what I AM reading:

As I pulled up the covers to snuggle in bed last night, I picked up...


And today, I will finish listening to...




Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Real Life Andy Dufresne


One of my all time favorite movies is The Shawshank Redemption. I can't even count on both fingers and toes the number of times I've seen it because I have watched so many bits and pieces. If we are channel surfing and it is on? We will watch!

Remember the beach at the end? In Zihuatanejo? It became a life's quest to search it out and wiggle my toes in the same sand as Andy.

The movie's beach is actually several miles down the road from Zihuantanejo's two main playas, in a beach town called Barra de Potosi. It is a long stretch of sand called Playa Largo. On Sundays, families spend the day floating in the brackish waters of the lagoon, horses frolic in the sand beside children, and tourists relax in hammocks among the locals.

It is the beach where Red finds Andy. It is quiet and beautiful. I have been there twice.

I know the movie is based on a true life story yet I only knew some of the details. More came to light today. Did you see this?

The real Andy Dufresne was caught after 56 years.

I understand seeking justice and everything, just like seeking the perfect strip of sand (Okay, not exactly the same.). But I really wanted to go on thinking Andy was on the beach in Zihuatanejo working on his boat, sipping a cervaza, and waiting for Red to show up.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

R.W. Emerson and Brain Pickings: About Friendship

There’s always some good stuff on Brain Pickings about so many things, but lately there seems to be more, or I am seeing more, about friendship. Friendship has been on my mind a lot lately.

Maria Popova’s article titled Truth and Tenderness: Ralph Waldo Emerson on Friendship and Its Two Essential Conditions spoke volumes to me today. I thought I would share some excerpts with whoever is out there reading. 

Maria writes:

“Emerson argues, that friendships have a certain pace of presence and absence, a natural rhythm of “comings and goings” that should be respected rather than bemoaned as a weakness in the relationship. “

And:

“To rush these rhythms or force friendship to comply to a specific fantasy, Emerson gently admonishes, would be an assault on the relationship. Emerson argues that to be impatient in friendship is to mistrust the depth of the relationship and to deny the resilience and immutability of the friend’s affections:”

Emerson says:
“Our impatience is thus sharply rebuked. Bashfulness and apathy are a tough husk in which a delicate organization is protected from premature ripening. It would be lost if it knew itself before any of the best souls were yet ripe enough to know and own it. Respect the naturalangsamkeit [German for the slowness of natural development] which hardens the ruby in a million years, and works in duration, in which Alps and Andes come and go as rainbows. The good spirit of our life has no heaven which is the price of rashness. Love, which is the essence of God, is not for levity, but for the total worth of man. Let us not have this childish luxury in our regards, but the austerest worth; let us approach our friend with an audacious trust in the truth of his heart, in the breadth, impossible to be overturned, of his foundations.”

And what is the greatest gift of true friendship per Emerson?

“[Friendship] is for aid and comfort through all the relations and passages of life and death. It is fit for serene days, and graceful gifts, and country rambles, but also for rough roads and hard fare, shipwreck, poverty, and persecution… We are to dignify to each other the daily needs and offices of man’s life, and embellish it by courage, wisdom and unity. It should never fall into something usual and settled, but should be alert and inventive, and add rhyme and reason to what was drudgery.”

And the importance of being enough the same and enough different.

“Friendship requires that rare mean betwixt likeness and unlikeness, that piques each with the presence of power and of consent in the other party… I hate, where I looked for a manly furtherance, or at least a manly resistance, to find a mush of concession. Better be a nettle in the side of your friend, than his echo. The condition which high friendship demands is ability to do without it… Let it be an alliance of two large formidable natures, mutually beheld, mutually feared, before yet they recognize the deep identity which beneath these disparities unites them.”

Because how boring would it be if we were exactly alike! Who's going to keep us on our toes if not our friends? We need to learn and be challenged.

And what about the one-sidedness feelings we get from some. Should we care? Give up on them?
It has seemed to me lately more possible than I knew, to carry a friendship greatly, on one side, without due correspondence on the other. Why should I cumber myself with regrets that the receiver is not capacious? It never troubles the sun that some of his rays fall wide and vain into ungrateful space, and only a small part on the reflecting planet. Let your greatness educate the crude and cold companion. If he is unequal, he will presently pass away… But the great will see that true love cannot be unrequited. True love transcends the unworthy object, and dwells and broods on the eternal, and when the poor interposed mask crumbles, it is not sad, but feels rid of so much earth, and feels its independency the surer… The essence of friendship is entireness, a total magnanimity and trust.”

Sometimes I forget that friends need space with “room to breathe and grow and just be”. That the need or desire for space isn’t wrong or bad or reflective of the quality of the friendship (sometimes). And friendships have a “sense of presence and absence”, a “coming and going”. That it’s a natural phenomenon. 

We all need room to change so then we can present our friends with our renewed freshness and enthusiasm! And “It’s been so long! Where have you been, and what have you done?!?!?” We are thrilled and excited to know all of the answers. 


Then sometimes it feels as if the space seemed like we never spent a minute apart. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Stream of Consciousness Sunday- Are Poems a Better Cure Than Wine?

Yes, it is Sunday and I didn't even need to check the calendar. I can always tell because I hear the [thwack] of the big paper as it hits the door. Time again for Stream of Consciousness Sunday. The rules are simple! Set a timer for five minutes, write (but don't edit), publish, and link up here. This is what I have to say today even though I really wanted to say something completely different to begin with...


***********************************

I could spend these next five minutes wallowing or ranting. I want to. It would be super easy too. It has been the kind of weekend that’s filled with nothing but worsening news. Horrible.

And my sleeping buddy is out of town. And I wanted to relish it in solitude. And planned to eat a million things, and everything, bad for me. 

My covers. 
My remote. 
My ice cream.

Instead I am not sleeping well, fielding disturbing text messages, and never made it to the store to buy the bad stuff. It is after noon; I could turn to wine.

But I have this collection of poetry next to me. It is the first time I have ever read one. It somehow makes me feel lighter just holding it. Is it magic?

It is so lovely. My heart seems in a constant state of pitter-pattering flutter as my eyes sip the words. It is like a feast of fine chocolate. A word buffet. Of too many good things. And my spirits is soaring.

I am usually a very impulsive person. If I love something, I devour it. But I am using every ounce of restraint I have to eat this up slooooowly. Savor. Taste. 

Read each poem. 
Go back. 
Take more in. 
Feel it.
More.

If it weren’t for this book, these poems, I don’t know what I would have done this weekend. There isn’t any wine in the house. I didn't get to the store.
Which works better for you? Wine or poems?

Friday, April 24, 2015

RIP Joe

Some people lose their battle. Some are too young. Then some are left behind wondering what they could have done differently.

Rest in peace, "Joe".

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Do You Like Reading Poetry?

Yes, sometimes. (I just answered the question myself.) I like poems individually, but I don't think I have ever really sat down and read an entire collection. I never thought I would enjoy that experience as much as I love, love, love reading novels or short story collections. That is until...


LOVE POEM #137

I will wake you up early
even though I know you like to stay throughout the credits.

I will leave pennies in your pockets,
postage stamps of superheroes
in between the pages of your books,
sugar packets on your kitchen counter.
I will Hansel and Gretel you home.

I talk through movies.
Even ones I have never seen before.

I will love you with too many commas,
but never any asterisks.

There will be more sweat than you are used to.
More skin.
More words than are necessary.

My hair in the shower drain,
my smell on your sweaters,
bobby pins all over the windows sills.

I make the best sandwiches you've ever tasted.
You'll be in charge of napkins.

I can't do a pull-up.
But I'm great at excuses.

I count broken umbrellas after every thunderstorm,
and I fall asleep repeating the words thank you.

I will wake you up early
with my heavy heartbeat.
You will say, Can't we just sleep in, and I will say,
No, trust me. You don't want to miss a thing.

                         No Matter the Wreckage
                         Poems by Sarah Kay

Then there's The First Poem in the Imaginary Book and Montauk and Hands!

Swoon!!!!! I chose to read No Matter the Wreckage to give this poetry thing a whirl because, after all, it IS National Poetry Month. I am in love.

Thank you, Rebecca from Book Riot, for this recommendation. I am almost halfway through, and my life has been changed. For the better because of it. I just may be a convert.