Sexy Vampires!

I wrote a post about reading “Interview With A Vampire.”
It used to be one of my favorite books. Hope you like it!
Click HERE to check it out!

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Little Things

It’s the little things that make something as big as a lifetime so awesome.

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A book about the decline of civil participation from 2000, that you’d think would depress the shit out of me but doesn’t. I’ll be writing more about that later!

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A tiny rose that blooms from the decorative potted rose plant that I thought was a goner.

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And these reassuring words on the screen when I open up Word. I promised myself I would work on it every day and I am. Proof!

All is well. Keep on.

 

The Little Things

I joined BookCrossing a few months ago and eagerly bought book plates to put in a few of my favorite books and send out into the world…but I lagged in actually doing it. The truth of the matter is that I love my books and don’t really want to part with them. The books I end up sending out are ones that I loved because they are simple and I know I won’t read them again or books that are probably great but I wasn’t a big fan of.

There are some great novels I’ve read lately and non-fiction awesomeness, but I’ll have to buy a new copy to send out because mine have notes in them and…well…I love them and they are mine!

I finally released my first book into the wild earlier this week while I was on a short hiking day with a friend. I left it at the trail head in a cute plastic bag with “Not a lost book!” written on it. I got them from the website!

The next day I found THIS in my in box!

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How exciting is that? I know, maybe I’m weird, but the idea that I left something somewhere and someone else picked it up and was tickled by it, just makes me so stinking happy, especially since they took the time to go online and log it!

So, AnonymousFinder, wherever you are, thank you! You made my morning. I hope you like the book and pass it on!

Now I feel inspired to send more out. I may have to run to the thrift store today and get a couple books I know I’ve read and can recommend.

 

Unexpected Finds

I started reading Plato’s Republic this morning. I bought the Allan Bloom translation a while back and am finally getting to it. I only read the introductions and a couple pages of the book so far, but damn…it’s awesome. I’m glad I read the introductions because they gave me some really good insight as to why it was written and what we might get out of it by doing so.

Here are a couple quotes I’m already in love with:

From the introduction by Adam Kirsch

“In other words, Plato’s focus is not so much on the content of Socrates’s ideas as on the way those ideas affect and transform his listeners, enabling them to start actually thinking, instead of merely repeating platitudes.”

Philosophy doesn’t teach you what to think. It’s not a list of rules. It teaches to you how to think, to use your mind and navigate the world around you. When we say “My philosophy is…,” we don’t mean these are my rules for living. We should mean this is how I look at the world and decipher it’s meaning.

“…philosophy was fundamentally a subversive pursuit and had been recognized as such for most of history.”

Subversive! That’s why they killed Socrates. Philosophers aren’t supposed to tow the line of conventional thought. They blur up those lines and force us to re-think and define how we came to those lines. It should make you angry! We’d all love nothing more than to float through life on easy street, but that limits the future, not only ours but our children’s.

“The Enlightenment, taken literally, believed that the light could be brought into the cave and the shadows dispelled; men, in that view, could live in perfect light.” -Bloom

Socrates believed there was an elite that could understand things better and take care of the rest of humanity. Political rulers, priests, and professors. They had the books and the intelligence to take care of the masses. The rest needed to listen. If the man that came back from outside the cave came in saying, let me lead you out into the world so you can be free, they’d kill him. That may be true. But what I’d love is this idea from the Enlightenment. The cave is dark and shadowy, bring light in and every human will have to learn truth on their own and they will. Unfortunately, the older I get the more I start to think that just isn’t possible.

“His (a philosopher) situation is extremely dangerous, because he knows truths the rest of the world is determined not to hear.”

It’s like we’re all on a very fixed track to get to point B and we will not be dissuaded. The philosopher comes in with his wild ideas, maybe we can be kinder, maybe we can love each other, maybe we can not use force…what a monster. Everyone knows taxes must be paid to make roads for us to use. Everyone knows that women’s healthcare means being able to kill off unborn children. Everyone knows that if we don’t bomb the shit out of that country they’ll kill us all. Lord help the person that suggests maybe, just maybe, we can do otherwise.

Writing all of this I suddenly realize how poignant Dr. Seuss books are.

And I, my Robert Frost…

The Silken Tent

She is as in a field a silken tent
At midday when a sunny summer breeze
Had dried the dew and all its ropes relent,
So that in guys it gently sways at ease,
And its supporting central cedar pole,
That is its pinnacle to heavenward
And signifies the sureness of the soul,
Seems to owe naught to any single cord,
But strictly held by none, is loosely bound
By countless silken ties of love and thought
To everything on earth the compass round,
And only by one’s going slightly taut
In the capriciousness of summer air
Is of the slightest bondage made aware.

Oh wow.

I’ve never been a big fan of poetry, but over the years my sons have made me aware of poetry I did not know existed, in the form of folk and rock music. They’d pause the music and repeat a line that moved them. “Mom! Can’t you just see that? Such poetry. This guy rocks.” I had never thought of Bob Dylan or the Grateful Dead as poets. Poetry was those crazy stanza’s you read in old books, the words that make no sense when read in your head during class. The interpretations teenagers come to in class surrounded by judgmental peers and an authority that always seems to have the answers…that never make any sense to me. I never read any poetry outside of high school and its required reading.

But recently, I picked up a book I had “Complete Poems of Robert Frost: 1949” It’s old and the dust jacket disappeared long ago. I don’t know where I got it, probably at a used book store or the thrift store’s dollar book shelves. I only know Robert Frost because of a Simon & Garfunkel song

“you read your Emily Dickenson and I my Robert Frost, and we mark our place with bookmarkers to remember what we’ve lost”

A few days ago, I picked the book up and figured I’d give it a try, read a page or two and ruminate on it just before bed. The first night I read one or two short poems, ending with this one, The Silken Tent. It made no real sense to me, so I closed the book and went to sleep.

The next evening, I opened the book to my bookmarker and read that poem again. The crazy thing…it clicked. Suddenly I saw the picture. And I read it again. I smiled and closed the book.

A day later, I read it out loud to my son. It didn’t sound right, halting and confusing, he didn’t get the picture. He took the book and read it himself and started to see. I read it again in my head and got more. It touched my heart.

This morning I read it out loud again and again, putting pauses in the right places. It made more sense. I’ll try to read it to my son again and see what he thinks.

I am that silken tent! I stand on this earth surrounded by the love of those around me, my head erect and tall. I feel that I’m strong and freestanding until the time I start to be blown by the trials of living. That’s when I feel the pull of those guy wires that hold me up. They are not restraining, they comfort me and protect me from falling. It’s a gorgeous picture and I can’t wait to read it again.

Poetry…It’s not dumb. I just didn’t get it.