Wednesday, May 19, 2004

I collect quotes for my sig file. When I read books I own, or those I have obtained via bookray, I copy the quotes into a journal entry. I didn't have a system for keeping quotes from library books. In the middle of the night I had a harebrained idea to make a journal entry here for such books.

from “The Knitting Sutra. Craft as a Spiritual Practice, by Susan Gordon Lydon, c. 1997

So here goes...
I went outside and, in some sort of ambulatory fog, made my way to the pizza
joint on the next block. "So I have cancer," I thought to myself, "and now I'm having pizza." I may have been dying, but I was still hungry for lunch.
In the weeks to come I would be surprised by how much those ordinary things combined to keep me sane. All the mundane tasks that normally irritated me - putting gas in the car, washing dishes, writing out bills - kept me grounded in reality, and involved in my life, so that no matter how much I may have wanted to curl up in a fetal ball and obsess about the cancer, I still had to take care of business and carry on as best I could. A line of Alfred Kazin's, in an account of a Friday-morning visit to his radiologist's office that I had read in the 'New Yorker,' described this feeling perfectly: "In the midst of death we are life," it read, "and itching to get away for the weekend." p128
[comment: this passage reminds me how much I take for granted]

In midlife it begins to feel terribly urgent to us that we attend to things that will nuture our soul, on an individual as well as a societal level. "Technology is going to destroy the human soul," the folksinger Pete Seeger said recently, "unless we realize that each of us must in some way be a creaotr as well as a spectator or consumer." As a society we are desparately in search of a better, more spiritual way to live; our very survival of species depends on it. For myself, at this time I needed to find different heroes, new archetypes on which to model myself, authentic values I could live by, a lost world I might regain through the work of my hands. p49

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Read since March 31st, 2004

Mistress to a Millionaire by Helen Brooks, c. 1999,
House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III, c. 1999,
A Class Apart by Susan Lewis, c. 1988,
Slade Baron's Bride by Sandra Marton, c. 1999,
Sunset by Christopher Nicole, c. 1978,
Cooking Up Trouble by Molly O'Keefe, c. 2003,
The Sudden Guest by Christopher La Farge, c. 1946,
Cinderella & The Playboy by Laura Wright, c. 2002,
The Accident by Jesse Osburn, c. 1984,
Paradise Lost by Robyn Donald, c. 1993,
The Stranger by Albert Camus, c. 1942,
"A Girl From Yamhill. A Memoir," by Beverly Cleary, c. 1988 (library book),
"Truth & Bright Water" by Thomas King, c. 1999 (library book)
"The Namesake," by Jhumpa Lahiri, c. 2003 (library book)