“There is no better time than the autumn to begin forgetting the things that trouble us, allowing them to fall away like dried leaves.” ~ Paulo Coelho, from Adultery
Thursday evening. Overcast and cold, 49 degrees.
Yesterday it was sunny and 74 degrees and Olivia and I sat in the backyard and watched birds and planes. Corey comes home and suddenly it is freezing outside. But he is home, safe and sound.
I sat down at this computer to look up some information on a pharmaceutical company and to do something else. In between looking and typing, I have forgotten what the second thing was that I needed to do. It has left my brain completely, as if culled out like the whites from the yolk. You have no idea how completely enervating this is.
Anyway, been a busy day: kept Olivia over night so that I could surprise Corey at the airport; finished cleaning this morning; ran a few quick errands before nap time, and then I had to get Olivia up early from her nap so that we could be at the airport in time. Corey was very surprised and pleased. The house looks and more importantly, smells clean.
I’m in the middle of a really good book: A Simple Act of Violence, by R. J. Ellory; it’s a criminal investigation with a really intriguing political back story about the CIA and drug-funded wars, and there is nothing simple about it. It’s the first book by Ellory that I have read, and I’m wondering how his other books are. Has anyone out there read his work?
So since this is just a brief note, I thought I’d share this quiz you: “What’s your reading personality?”
Me? I’m an aesthete, of course:
You’ve read many works by classic authors—from Virgil and Shakespeare to Tolstoy,
Stendhal, Edith Wharton, Virginia Woolf, Ralph Ellison, Pablo Neruda and F. Scott Fitzgerald — and you savor books by award-winning contemporary authors, from Salvage the Bones and A Visit from the Goon Squad, to The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, On Beauty, Gilead or What Is the What. Plot and pacing are less important to you than the originality of the author’s imagination and use of language. You revere writers whose words can exalt everyday experience into a shareable sublimeness. “Home was an idea, and like Arcadia it was lost in the past,” Kate Atkinson writes in Life After Life. Discovering fresh perceptions like this is the reason you read. You’re not put off if a sentence is as long as a paragraph, or if a paragraph fills a whole page, as long as the power of the author’s voice continues unbroken. Nor do you mind if the book’s characters are wicked, if the hero is unlucky; or if the settings are alien or hostile. The Aesthete can love Land of Love and Drowning without supporting witchcraft or adultery, and can adore The Way We Live Now without rooting for pyramid schemes. This sort of reader doesn’t need a happy ending, or a neat Aesopian resolution. This sort of reader wants to immerse herself in the author’s language and raptly take it all in.What compels you above all is the sense of the author’s sustained gift of expression, whether it be lyrical, understated or sonorous.
By the way, I meant to say something a few posts ago: I’ve surpassed 1750 posts. Not bad for a little side project meant to distract me.
More later. Peace.
Images are by Finnish artist Eero Järnefelt (1863-1937)
Music by The Fire and the Sea, “Torn”
In Blackwater Woods
Look, the trees
their own bodies
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
the long tapers
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders
of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is
I have ever learned
in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it
to let it go.
~ Mary Oliver