Sunday, February 19, 2023

Reading Update

Book #5 of 2023 was The Hawthorne Legacy, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. This is the second in the Inheritance Games series. I finished the first one last month, and the third one is on hold.

Book #6 was I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, by Austin Channing Brown. The first chapter of this book is called "White People Are Exhausting." As an exhausting white person, I admit I had to fight feelings of defensiveness as I read this book. But I kept telling myself that it is a great opportunity to get such a clear picture of someone else's perceptions. I really get that it's hard to be in a minority, and the history of race in the United States is a brutal one. I will try to be less exhausting henceforth. 

Book #7 was Rescue, by Anita Shreve. There's lots of rescuing going on in this novel. The protagonist is an EMT, and he meets a woman in the course of his job who needs rescuing. Then later others need to be rescued from her, and in the end there are still more rescues. I like Anita Shreve's books, and I just found that I have reported on six of her others on this blog.

Book #8 was One Day, by David Nicholls. Dexter and Emma meet in 1988, and the "one day" of the title is July 15th of that year. The rest of the book takes us to July 15th of each succeeding year, and shows us the ups and downs of "Dex and Em." I did enjoy this book, and I liked the structure. It went in some directions I didn't see coming. I understand there's also a movie.

Book #9 was Of a Feather: A Brief History of American Birding, by Scott Weidensaul. This was a fascinating read, with lots of great bird stories and ornithological name-dropping. It's thirteen years old, so it's not up to the minute on current birding culture, and there's a tiny bit too much griping about people who are more interested in adding to their Life Lists than they are in actually learning about birds. I highly recommend this book for people who are as obsessed with the topic as I am.

Book #10 was one of the best books I've read in a while, Solito: A Memoir, by Javier Zamora. Wow! Wow! This is the story of nine-year-old Javier, whose parents are in the US while he has been left in El Salvador, and how he attempts to join them. It is so full of vivid detail and emotion that I felt as though I was along for the journey. There's a lot of Spanish in the book. I've been studying Spanish for just over a year now, and I was pleased with how much I could understand, but since a lot of the point of the Spanish is to show the different ways the language is spoken in the different countries Javier passes through and how that affects everyone, a little glossary in the back would have helped me out. I felt as though I missed out on some of what was going on, just as I would have had I really been in this group in 1999. But oh, what a read! I could hardly put it down, and my heart was with Javier each moment. I couldn't help thinking of the Haitian children living some version of this drama right now.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Poetry Friday: Snow

Today I have some poems about snow. The first two are haiku based on photos sent me by friends last week (click on the picture to enlarge it). Then there's another snow poem, or at least a snow-adjacent poem, I wrote recently. I wanted to include the word Feather somewhere, since that's my OLW, so I went searching for a poem that compared snow to feathers, and the post ends with that.


Snow Moon, 2023

seven or eight hours in their future,
(depending on the time zone,
since my grown-up children
live in two separate ones),
I go outside
in the warm night
to look at the
Snow Moon.

I imagine myself
seeing the same
that they will see
once their part of the earth
circles round.

in the Ugandan dry season,
the Snow Moon hides
thick, white clouds
that will
bring snow.

©Ruth Bowen Hersey

I'm going to share one stanza of this poem; there are four. Follow the link to read the rest of it.

from The Snow Arrives After Long Silence


by Nancy Willard


...The cat at my window watches

amazed. So many feathers and no bird!

All day the snow sets its table

with clean linen, putting its house in order.

The hungry deer walk


Here's the rest. 

The marvelous Molly has today's roundup.

Thursday, February 02, 2023

Poetry Friday: Feather


by Lew R. Sarett

High in the noon's bright bowl of blue

I saw an idling eagle tilt

His suave white wings.  As smooth he flew

As water flows on silt.

He wheeled; a feather from his wing

Fluttered from out the clean clear dome

And sank on the grassy carpeting,

Soft as a moth on foam. 

The rest is here.

And speaking of light and beautiful things like feathers, here's a song I found this week by Pat Kalla & Le Super Mojo. The lyrics, in French, are in the comments on the video. My favorite ones:

"Pleurer, c’est une rivière au fond des yeux qui déborde quand il pleut  

Pleurer, c’est dessiner la mélancolie avec un pinceau tout gris  

Pleurer, c’est déranger les anges qui dorment sous tes paupières  

Qui secouent leurs ailes toutes mouillées 

 Et vont au soleil se sécher..."


My translation:


"Crying is a river deep in the eyes that overflows when it rains

Crying is drawing melancholy with a gray paintbrush 

Crying is bothering the angels that are sleeping under your eyelids

That shake their wet wings

And go into the sun to dry themselves..."

Laura has this week's roundup.

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Spiritual Journey Thursday: The Colors of My Life

This month our host for Spiritual Journey Thursday, Bob, asked us to think about colors. He wrote, "We are all called to be shining lights for others to follow. Are your lights bright and bold so that others can see them in the distance or are they soft and muted so that others won’t notice them until they are near you? What color is your light?"


I am not sure how to answer what color my light is, but I do know that I have been loving the colors I have been seeing lately in Uganda, my new home. They are a beautiful gift. Here are some recent colors.



"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17.

Check out other people's responses to this prompt here!