Showing posts with label books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label books. Show all posts

19 November 2010

Doubt.

{If you aren't reading that blog, you need to be.}

So, after all of my theological questions and my being hopelessly misunderstood by some of you, I've decided that I really don't need to explain myself.  Either you appreciate me for what I write {even if you don't understand it} or you don't.

I know my heart.  I know it is full of goodness, and even a bit of evil that lurks in dark corners, hopefully, never roused out of its hibernation.  I know my intentions, and my blunders.  I know that there is a plan for me and my life, and no one needs to give me their stamp of approval.  

If you've stuck around this long, I'm thinking you want to see what I have to say and share next, either out of a fondness or a pure distaste.  In the scheme of things, it really makes no difference either way.  I will continue to exist, and write, and trip over myself, and, at times, recover even stronger than before.  

That being said, I've been reading a new book, 'The Life of Pi', by Yann Martel.


It's pretty profound.  At least in my life at the moment. 

I haven't even finished the first of the 3 parts, but it is really poignant.  

Incidentally, I finished 'East of Eden', and am trying to find a way to articulate my feelings about that book.  I'm not sure I can.  Needless to say, I think you should all read it.  

Anyway, upon reflecting about 'the situation' that occurred on the blog-diggity, I came upon a passage that touched me deeply in 'Life of Pi'.  {And, for those of you who are interested, I have thought about THE POST often over the last week or so.  It will stay with me for awhile, I'm sure.  For many, many reasons.}

I will share the passage with you:

"I'll be honest about it.  It's not atheists who get stuck in my craw, but agnostics.  Doubt is useful for awhile.  We must all pass through the garden of Gethsemane.  If Christ played with doubt, so must we.  If Christ spent  an anguished night in prayer, if He burst out from the Cross, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' then surely we are also permitted doubt.  But we must move on.  To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation."

For me, it's the 'But we must move on.' that is quite haunting.  We must move on.  Whatever you choose to lay your faith in.  We must move on from doubt.  Decide what it is we believe in, and stay the course.  Faith.  Belief not based in proof.  Heart over head.  Nature over culture.  

I'm hoping sooner is the time for me to shake off my conflicts about my own faith and spirtiuality.  Because in all honesty, it's giving me a headache.

29 October 2010

Blinking cursor.


I've been staring at a blinking cursor for 5 minutes.

I've got nothing, today.

Unless, you want me to get all philosophical.  Which I'm tempted to do.

I'm reading 'East of Eden' by John Steinbeck.

That will make anyone a bit philosophical.  About life in general.  You know, just stuff.

Not in a bad way.  A good way.  Makes you find the bad stuff in you, and want to purge it out.

Good, right?

Also, I took that photo up there.  Nothing exciting.

I like it.

It's like two leaves that belong together in a sea of sameness.

That has nothing to do with 'East of Eden'.

I don't think, anyway.

I'm only half way through.

Bottom line: I just like it.

I like a lot of things.

I think people should think about the things {non-material} that they like, often.

It will make you instantly happy.

Like:

your spouse

your kids

hugs

the smell of coffee

crisp fall air

words

music

belly laughs

prayer

rain

grace

I could go on and on.

Suddenly, I'm smiling on the inside.

Works every time.

See?

Now you....go.

20 September 2010

Timshel.

"But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not." 
 John Steinbeck (East of Eden)



Okay, so I hate to beat a dead horse, buuuuuut...

as you know, I've been listening to the Mumford & Sons album on heavy rotation, and their song 'Timshel' really struck a chord with me.  On a very personal level.

First off, let me say that I did not know what timshel meant.  So, like any big dumb, dumb, I had to google it.  A quick synapses: it is a Hebrew word that means 'thou mayest', or, basically, that you have a choice.  In just about everything.  Even in tragedy.

You can choose to be happy or not.  Choose to take your load of crap and push it all aside or not.  Choose to sink in a hole, or fill it and stand proudly upon the dirt.

See?  Timshel.

I struggle with choosing goodness in my own life.  I often seem to unconsciously choose the dark over the light.  I decide I'm alone.  That somehow my circumstances are different than anyone else that has ever walked this Earth.  No one knows what I feel, how I cope, how I wake up to face every day.

Guess what?

Everyone feels that at some point.  A teenager who doesn't have designer clothing like the other girls, a man who has yet to fall in love, a mother who has lost a child.  From trivial to heavy.

In our pain, we have a choice.  Good vs. evil.

None of us are alone.  Ever.  We have kindred spirits everywhere.  But, sadly, most of us withdraw into our own pain.  Convincing ourselves it's unique.  Unlike any other pain anyone has ever felt.

It's not.

I will be reminding myself of that.  Often.

Second, if you dive even further into the timshel theme, I've discovered that John Steinbeck based his novel, "East of Eden" on this very theme.  The power to choose.

I've read several of Steinbeck's novels, but oddly enough, I've never read "East of Eden".

As soon as we're settled, meaning all of our boxes and furniture make it to the new house in about 10 days, I am going to read "East of Eden".  Then, lucky for you all, I will be giving you a 'book report'.  I would love it if you joined me.

Thou mayest...

"I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one. . . . Humans are caught—in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too—in a net of good and evil. . . . There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well—or ill?" 
 John Steinbeck (East of Eden)

Post Edit:
Let me add, that I in no way was talking about feeling alienated by God.  My faith reassures me everyday He is by my side.  Always.  ALWAYS.  WIthout that companionship, I would really feel lost at times. Something I don't even want to imagine.  
When writing this I was thinking more in the human camaraderie sense.  Alone in that way is never a good place to be.  Ever, ever.  

17 June 2010

I'm...

baaaaa-aaaaaack!


And, let's just say that I'm refueled, fired-up, and ready for summer 
and whatever it throws my way!
We had a great time on our yearly getaway at YMCA Trout Lodge.
While on the beach, I've been thinking up some good posts in my lil' ole head,
and will definately be posting photos from our trip.
I, also, read a fantastic book while the kids splashed away & dug in the sand.
If you have a summer reading list,
I highly recommend adding 'The Help' by Kathryn Stockett to it.

Alrighty,
I've got to get back to Photoshop.
It's a love/hate relationship.
Nighty-night!


16 October 2009

pewter cups of milk.


I am currently reading the fifth book in the 'Outlander' series by Diana Gabaldon, 'The Fiery Cross'. I am not very far into it, maybe a couple of hundred pages out of over 1,000, but last night a passage struck me.

I am going to share it with all of you.

Now, is the time I give you all a warning that it's about breastfeeding. Although, it is quite graphically written, it is also beautifully done. I have never read an account of male/female relations while the woman is nursing so poignantly described.

Let me know if you share my sentiments...

****

"Tonight he had said them (wedding vows) in the blaze of firelight, before the face of God and the world, her people and his. His heart had been hers, and whatever else he had-but now there was no question of him and her, his and hers. The vows were given, his ring put on her finger, the bond both made and witnessed. They were one body.

One hand of their joint organism crushed a breast a little too hard, and one throat made a small sound of discomfort. She drew back from him a little, and he felt rather than saw her grimace. The air came cold between them and his own skin felt suddenly raw, exposed, as though he had been severed from her with a knife.

'I need-' she said, and touched her breast, not finishing. 'Just a minute, okay?'

Claire had fed the child while Brianna went to make her overtures with the Reverend Caldwell. Bursting with porridge and stewed peaches, Jemmy could scarcely be roused to suckle briefly before relapsing into somnolence and being taken away by Lizzie, his wee round belly tight as a drum. That was as well for their privacy-drugged into such a gluttonous stupor, it was unlikely the bairn would wake before dawn. The price of it, though, was the unused milk.

No one living in the same house with a nursing mother was likely to be unaware of her breasts, let alone her husband. They had a life of their own, those breasts. They changed size from hour to hour, for the one thing, swelling from their normal soft globes into great round hard bubbles that gave him the eerie feeling that if he touched one it would burst.

Now and then, one did burst, or at least gave that impression. The ridge of soft flesh would rise like kneaded bread, slowly but surely pushing above the edge of Brianna's bodice. Then suddenly there would be a big, wet circle on the cloth, appearing magically, as though some invisible person had thrown a snowball at her. Or two snowballs-for what one breast did, its fellow rushed at once to follow suit.

Sometimes the Heavenly Twins were foiled, though; Jemmy drained one side, but inconsiderately fell asleep before performing the same service for the other. This left his mother gritting her teeth, gingerly taking the swollen orb in the palm of her hand, pressing the edge of a pewter cup just under the nipple to catch the spray and dribble as she eased the aching fullness, enough to sleep herself.

She was doing it now; modestly turned away from him, an arisaid gathered around her shoulders against the chill. He could hear the hiss of the milk, a tiny chime against the metal.

He was reluctant to drown the sound, which he found erotic, but nonetheless picked up the guitar, and put his thumb to the strings, his hand on the frets. He didn't strum or strike chords, but plucked single notes, small voices to echo his own, the thrum of one string singing through the chanted line.

A love song to be sure...(edit)

She never asked him not to, never turned away-and yet he could tell by the faint intake of her breath that, often, she was bracing herself not to flinch when he touched her breasts.

Was it only tenderness? he wondered. Did she not trust him to be gentle?"

****


Who knew an account of that sort could be so moving?

And, to all the nursing mommas...is it not, about, 110% accurate?

Seriously.

I cannot express to you how beautiful these books are. I'm not sure how Miss Gabaldon does it. They are truly moving. For historical fiction, they are so relevant, and so profound.

Hope I didn't offend anyone. I mean, I DID give fair warning!

Photobucket

24 September 2009

Read this.

Normally, I do not press books, movies, or other entertainment. If you want to read it, watch it, or do it...that's cool by me. However, I DO think everyone, including those of the male variety, should read all of Miss Austen's novels, Leo Tolstoy's 'Anna Karenina', Roald Dahl's fanciful fiction, Bradbury's 'Farenheit 451', Bronte's 'Jane Eyre', and as much Shakespere as one can digest. Some things should just not go ignored. Reading is as close to a time machine as I could think to ever come in my lifetime.

After much persuasion on my sister's part, I had finally decided to crack open 'Outlander' by Diana Gabaldon.

I will admit that the first 100 pages or so were really not living up to my expectations based on my sister's accolades. But, then things start to happen. Oh, boy, do they ever!

This book spans wars, political schemes, 18th century Scottish Highland life (pee-yew), love, illness, death, human perseverance. It made me cry until my eyes swelled shut and laugh out loud so hard that Big Jake had to ask me, "What's wrong?".

The connection between the two main characters, Jamie Fraser and Claire Beauchamp Randall, is truly transcending. Their marriage is authentic and tangible. Their fights are comically real, and their physical connection is electrifying. At the core of this book is, in fact, their relationship, but it is by no means strictly a romance novel. It is 20th/21st century historical literature with a dash of science fiction. All at it's finest.

Diana Gabaldon's writing has spoiled me. Currently, I don't have any intention of reading anyone else. Good thing there are, currently, 7 books in the series with more to come; 'Outlander', 'Dragonfly in Amber', 'Voyager', 'Drums of Autumn', 'The Fiery Cross', 'A Breath of Snow and Ashes', and 'An Echo in the Bone' . I am currently reading the third, then it's onto her 'Lord John' series.

Her words are magic. Her detail is unsurpassed. Instead of feeling like I'm reading, I feel like a storyteller is spinning me a tale. I just can't wait to find out what happens next and how one event or character is entwined with another. It is a tangled but glorious web she weaves.

If you do one thing for yourself before, let's say Christmastime, read, at the very least, 'Outlander'. You will not regret it.

Well, I hope not, anyway!

;)

01 December 2008

Not inspired.

today is an uninspiring day.
went to borders with my sister.
rosie & i split an apple tart.
so good.
jill got vanity fair to drool over the 'twilight' cast.
thinking she's a bit of a cougar.
to be fair, they are all pretty delectable.
and she bought 'pride & prejudice'.
that should freshen up the brain cells after the 'vanity fair' fix.
which, by the way, has a RACY photo spread with Kate Winslet.
love Kate Winslet.
her butt-crack, not so much.
okay.
admitting she looks fabulous.
also, talked to mrs. lewis about weening.
not going so good.
baby is doing super.
mom could be doing better.
i think it's time to wrap those suckers up.
can you say "ace bandage"?

ps hope your day is more exciting than mine!

Well, I'm off like a prom dress!

21 November 2008

INSANITY

It's gettin' all kinds of crazy up in here! In about 28.5 hours, I will be watching 'Twilight' wtih my fabulous date, Jill (my sister). If any of you have a secret obsession, share it with her. Chances are, she'll love it, too, because she is just as crazy nuts, as I am!

All of the sudden, I can't get Rosemary & Betty Clooney's sweet voices out of my head...

Sisters, sisters,
There were never such devoted sisters.
Never had to have a chaperone, no sir.
I'm there to keep an eye on her.
Caring, sharing,
Every little thing that we are wearing...

Have a super fab weekend!
ps If you're not going to see 'Twilight', I bet mine will be better!
pps Congrats are in order to my cousin Andrew & his wife
on the birth of their first kiddo, Vincent (super
great name, it's my daddy's & G-pa's name, too),
and Mrs. K, who landed a job in no time. And my cousin
Emily, who has already been released
to go back to work after breaking her back, YIKES!
(Ahh, how the young & fabulous heal sooo quickly.)
The heavens have been smiling
down on all of you.

27 October 2008

My Guilty Pleasure

Before I had children, reading was one of my most favorite things to do (well, it still is). However, since having children, the time I can devote to it has lessened. Considerably.

Recently, I have discovered the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. I know, I know, it's in the young adult section, for the love of Lucinda! But, I am a thirty-year-old here to tell you, "It's gooood, people!" Here's why: high school, true love, vampires, werewolves, danger, suspense, romance, action, vampires, werewolves. Did I mention the vampires and werewolves? It doesn't get much better than this. (Okay, so that may be an over-statement...) Anyway, I am currently reading the third in the series of four. WOWZA! That's really all I have to say!

Let me add, I am completely useless when I read. I mean, I still feed and change the kids, but my house is a disaster, and I stay up until, like, 2 in the morning. Come on, I have read almost 1,000 pages about vampires (and werewolves) in the matter of 3 days. Pathetic! I must give a shout out here to a kind, loving, helpful, hunk of man, I call my husband, who allows me to, occasionally, indulge in my beloved pastime.

I was NOT completely comatose this weekend.
We did this:
(as far as the TV goes, Jake and our friend, Danny, did most of it. I supervised, and made sure no one got hurt!)
BEFORE & AFTERS:






*Yes, that is Betsy in her skivvies watching
Pee Wee's Playhouse. It is a classic, and thanks to her, Godfather, Tony, we now have the boxed set. Yipee! By the way, click to enlarge...the look on Pee Wee's face is priceless.








*I painted this for our entry. You likey?
I am not so sure, yet.

FAMILY TIME:
*We went to a pumpkin carving party, at my friend, Christy's parents' house, but the boys would not stand still long enough for any kind of a picture. Plus, lil' Jake gashed his head open five minutes after we got there, my stinkin' camera sucks and ran out of batteries, and Pete pooped his pants (he does that when he's excited)! I don't know if we'll be invited back next year. But, hey, ya' win some & ya' lose some!



So, see, I wasn't totally useless. Maybe.

PS The movie comes out at the end of November. Alright, have I officially crossed the line? Can you say, psycho-obsessive? Watch the trailer here and here. And, don't worry, I will not get in line the day before, but I might dress up like a "bloodsucker" for the debut. We'll see...