Spring work is going on with joyful enthusiasm. -John Muir
There are blooms.
And babies …
(I was fortunate enough to meet two wonderful people yesterday morning, Melissa and James, who shared a wealth of info about the area and even led me to the Kent 212th Ponds. I so love fellow bird photographers!)
Here’s what I saw:
And then a few from this morning’s walk.
And if that weren’t enough,
Yesterday was World Book Day.
I’m not sure what calendar or entity is responsible for the declaration of such things, but I’m going to roll with it. I prepared a list from 2021 that you can find here. My 2022 list is dismal. There has been so much happening in my world that reading (and even listening to books) has taken a back seat to more pressing things.
So I am going to declare it World Words Day instead. A celebration of books and letters, blogs and all things written word. Here are the books I’ve finished so far. A short list for now, but as spring deepens, it will grow like those hardy dandelions and those sneaky hostas in the backyard.
2022 Book List/Book Lust:
Wish You Were Here -Jodi Picoult
I loved this book. It kept me engaged and surprised me all the way to the end.
If Cats Disappeared From the World -Genki Kowamura
Fascinating story. A good listen.
He Came in With It -Miriam Feldman
I loved this story. Fierce love of a mother and a wild ride as she walks with her son through his mental illness. Great book!
These Precious Days -Ann Patchett
I love everything from Ann Patchett and to listen to her read these essays made me love her even more.
Uncommon Type -Tom Hanks
Not my favorite book this year, but I enjoyed the stories and that each one had at least a passing reference to typewriters.
This is How it Always Is -Laurie Frankel
My favorite book this year. I planned long drives just so I could indulge myself in listening to this story. Loved the writing and most especially the tender telling of the story. I imagined this one happening all over the country. I cried and laughed and raged.
100 Things We’ve Lost to the Internet -Pamela Paul
Loved the “idea” of this. That’s all.
Flowers For Algernon -Daniel Keyes
How did I not remember so much of this story? Really enjoyed listening to it as an adult rather than a middle-schooler.
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly – Richard Bauby
A favorite book of all time. I’ve never listened to it before now, but have read it several times. I really loved the reader. I might just love it more.
The Year of Magical Thinking -Joan Didion
I read this several years ago but wanted to listen this time around. She talks with such honesty about her losses. I can’t hardly fathom the suddenness but I could completely understand the response.
They say that to be a better writer one first needs to become a better reader. Read everything you can. There is a voice inside me that wants to become familiar enough that you might know me from the cadence and style of my writing. I want to describe what I see in such a way that it is as unmistakably me as my handwriting or speaking voice.
As a child I remember being drawn to the handwriting of others. Oh, how I loved the written word. I practiced and practiced to create a style all my own. As an adult, I am drawn, not to the look, but to the sound of words. I mostly listen to books now and I have had the great pleasure of sitting with others reading and listening. Who knew I would come to love this simple act so much?
Do you remember the first chapter book you ever read on your own? For me, it was Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I would sit in the dining room of our Kent house, knees bent, nightgown over the heat register and read. Oh, how I was swept up in the story! I couldn’t put it down. Such joy in finishing it on my own. I identified with Charlie and his wins were my wins, his excitement my excitement, his worries my worries.
A good book will do that: reach in and grab you by the heart. That early experience made me a lifelong reader. A good book is like a friend; a companion. As I get older I have found myself leaning into the world of words in different ways. Two others come to mind: blogs and letters.
People don’t sit down to letters much anymore. It seems a lost art. I have a handful of people that meet me on the page and it is one of my favorite things in the world. I made a life out of letters and if I could encourage people to do one thing it would be to put pen to paper. A blank page, a favorite pen and a thoughtful sharing. Does it get any better? Well, yes … it does! There is the tiny square of art that is the postage stamp and that rush that comes when you see that hand addressed envelope in your mailbox.
When I send a card or a letter I am saying I love you.
This year I have also immersed myself in blogs. Back in 2015 I began my first one on Blogger. It went nowhere fast (and at this writing I’m not even sure if it’s still out there). Then in 2016 I came upon a blog writer quite by accident, and the more I read, the more I loved it. (The blog was Daughter on Duty- Gretchen Staebler. It has since grown into a beautiful memoir available in October. You can read all about it here or here) It became my inspiration to have another go at it. Within a few months In Search of the Very was born.
Since then I have sought out like-minded people who write. I suppose we do it for hundreds of different reasons but we seem to gravitate towards one another and offer support and love for the process. I have always wondered who “my tribe” was. It seems to have found me and I am as grateful to my fellow bloggers as I am to those who connect the old fashioned ways; a call, a text, a letter!
Here are a few favorites:
I’ll share more in the months ahead. For now, I’ll leave you with this:
Do stuff. Be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration’s shove or society’s kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It’s all about paying attention. Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager.