Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Reading Update

Book #11 of the year was An Episode of Sparrows, by Rumer Godden. I have been gradually trying to read all of Godden's books, and I enjoyed this one. It has the kind of prose style that I don't think Chat-GPT could replicate, because there is so clearly a human storyteller brain at work. This is a quiet, old-fashioned story.

Book #12 was the 2023 Newbery winner, Freewater, by Amina Luqman-Dawson. This is the story of two children who escape from enslavement and discover that there is a community of escapees like themselves living in the swamp. This is based on true stories of a similar community in the Great Dismal Swamp of Virginia. At times this read like a superhero adventure, and at other times like a harrowing story of abuse. I can really imagine it being made into a movie, and I hope it will be, because I can't picture what the sky bridge described in the book might look like. 

Book #13 was the third and final installment of the Inheritance Games series, The Final Gambit, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I liked it, and it kept me reading, but the incorrect Latin irritated me. 

Book #14 was a re-re-re-re-re-read, Ultimate Prizes, by Susan Howatch. Sometimes you just need to read something familiar. I wrote more about this series here.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Spiritual Journey Thursday: The Words We Fall Back On

It is not Thursday, and this post was supposed to be written by March 2nd. But the prompt was so good that I couldn't resist doing it, even though I am late.

This month's host, Karen, asked us to share some words that we keep returning to, words that are touchstones for us. I have a folder on my computer desktop called "Mantras," though that really isn't a very good name for what's in the folder. There's a whole variety of quotes and prayers, and even a note sent by a friend. These are all too long to be a true mantra, which is supposed to be very short and easy to repeat. 

Here are a very few of the items in my folder:

"You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope. In such an event, courage is the authentic form taken by love.

" Thomas Merton

“Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime; therefore, we are saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore, we are saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love.”  Reinhold Neibuhr



"The world is full of dark shadows to be sure, both the world without and the world within, and the road we’ve set off on is long and hard and often hard to find, but the word is trust. Trust the deepest intuitions of your own heart, trust the source of your own truest gladness, trust the road, trust him. And praise him too. Praise him for all we leave behind us in our traveling. Praise him for all we lose that lightens our feet, for all that the long road of the years bears off like a river. Praise him for stillness in the wake of pain. But praise him too for the knowledge that what’s lost is nothing to what’s found, and that all the dark there ever was, set next to the light, would scarcely fill a cup." Frederick Buechner 

And here's one of my favorite Bible verses: “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17

Thank you for this prompt, Karen!

Friday, March 10, 2023

Poetry Friday: Theater

In addition to my already full schedule, I've been helping with the school play, "The Tempest," complete with 80s music. It's been so much fun, and I've been thinking a lot about what a great thing it is for kids to be in a play, how it's making something together, something real. It's the closest I'll ever come to being part of a sports team. 

Here's a poem I found about a theater, and I especially love this line: "A false world ends in real debris." True, that.



For the Demolition of a Theater

by Elder James Olson


The player was neither king nor clown;

Of tragedy or comedy,

Truth is the last catastrophe.


Paper castles, too, fall down;

Spider and mouse have always known

A false world ends in real debris.


Here's the rest. 




And because I want to include a feather, for my OLW:

Heidi's hosting today's roundup.