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Monday, December 11, 2017

Weeks 6 & 7 as a Bold Reader.

I'm still reading Lorca in the tub. I read the poem aloud in Spanish first, which takes a while. I get bits of meaning and high school vocabulary. Then, I read the English (also aloud) and see which images were correct. I'm about a quarter of the way through the book.

I'm about two-thirds through Donald Hall's Selected Poems.

I read Amy Gerstler's new-to-me Scattered at Sea. Gerstler is my favorite poet. I discovered her in a volume of Best American Poetry, so I was excited to remember that I have BAP 2010, which she edited! I've read the front matter (interesting to see her prose!), and I'm ready to start the poems today and see how well Gerstler's tastes align with mine. I'm starting to feel the rhythm of poetry like an extra heartbeat. I'm not sure I've felt that since I was in grad school, reading stacks of poetry books.

I've reader two Christmas magazines! Both are O; one of them has been waiting on my shelf for years. I want to get into the Christmas spirit as much as possible, and magazines intimidate me less now.

All the other books I'm reading (except Ozma) are non-fiction, and I'm hungry for more fiction. I need to start reading a novel soon. But I'm just glad to be reading again.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

On Adventure.

In O Magazine, Oprah's most recent question for her readers was about this year's adventures. I started thinking about my adventures this year. I'm not someone who desires or seeks adventure actively, but I've still encountered that wild mix of fear, risk, and elation.

I've seen perhaps eight shows at the Durham Performing Arts Center this year. Truly, each show is an adventure. Tension and amazement. Lights, smoke, illusion, and stunning talent. How can we train our voices and bodies to work in such wondrous ways? I also get to enjoy Bruce's wonder.

I've been brave seeing scary movies at the theater, and I saw Bladerunner at the IMAX. Whoa.

Recently, I've read a lot of poetry. Poetry is rarely an easy read, and it requires my full engagement. Sometimes, a scintillating string of words will astonish me. Reading is almost always an adventure.

This turned out to be an adventure: my determination to think kind thoughts...and sometimes speak them, even to strangers. "You have gorgeous eyes," I told an occupational therapist in training. "Your hair is beautiful," I told Oliver's ABA tech. "I know you must be stressed, but you look great," I told a cashier at a busy Bath and Body Works. Talking to strangers is not something I do often. But it's been worth that momentary light in the other person's eyes.

And I wrote down 1,000 joys! This goal push me to examine my life and see where the wind-swept petals of joy sweeten my path.

What adventures have you had this year?

Friday, December 1, 2017

1,000 Joys: Part 40.

  1. Journals as gifts
  2. Oliver's playing dress-up with hats
  3. Watching The Good Doctor with Bruce
  4. Showing Josh a funny video
  5. Seeing other people reading at the airport
  6. Seeing a good number of people at the library
  7. Almost all memories of roller skating
  8. Buying violet perfume in Asheville
  9. Meerkats
  10. Hummingbirds
  11. Charms. I'd love to sort through a bucket of them
  12. Oliver in the snow
  13. Exhibits on ancient Egypt
  14. Oliver, fresh from his bath
  15. Wet erase markers
  16. Oliver's pacing and singing when he gets home
  17. Tiny white hairs on Oliver's ears
  18. Memories of a plush seal my uncle Chris gave me
  19. My uncle Ross's sly smile
  20. Taxes help from Uncle Jason
  21. Watching a scary movie in the theater with a vocal audience
  22. Memories of traveling in Europe almost 20 years ago with my grandparents
  23. Being open about my obsessions
  24. Wearing green
  25. My silver Tinkerbell ring, a perfect reminder of our fairy-tale honeymoon

Thursday, November 30, 2017

1,000 Joys: Part 39.

  1. Kind dental assistants
  2. Unopened pens
  3. Necklaces from Josh
  4. Anna Sui designs for PB Teen
  5. Memories of a box of paper doilies
  6. A used book in the mail
  7. Gunmetal gray cars
  8. Free shipping
  9. A multi-colored pack of cardstock
  10. Polka dot socks
  11. Capes
  12. A new book by my favorite poet
  13. Upcoming releases from my favorite writers
  14. Making lists of my favorite words
  15. Glacier green
  16. Fun fads like mermaids and unicorns
  17. Best American anthologies
  18. Beautifully-wrapped soaps
  19. Sudden darkness in winter
  20. Josh's getting excited about seeing "a cool dog"
  21. Oliver's commenting on the moon
  22. Velvet, especially dark blue
  23. Oliver's expecting praise after completing a puzzle
  24. Black gold-style jewelry
  25. Jane Eyre adaptations
One more list to go!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

I Miss.

In no particular order:
  • Lemonade
  • My parents and step parents
  • My dearest Keely
  • My darling Melissa
  • Cherry Coke
  • All the art we've had to take down (Oliver is in a destructive phase)
  • Milk
  • Exchanging letters
  • Playing dress up
  • Deep, detailed daydreaming
  • Playing with dolls
  • My cats
  • Wild violets
  • Sonic's cherry Sprite
  • Apple juice
  • Irish step dancing at a competition
  • Carrot cake
  • Easy reading
  • Writing stories
  • Writing poems
  • Swimming
  • The book Jane Eyre
  • Disney World (especially the Wilderness Lodge)
  • Sunset Boulevard
  • Aunt Linda
  • My great grandmothers
  • Kay, our teacher and dear friend
  • My grammy
  • My hilarious brother
  • Directing little plays
  • Watching Next Gen with Mom
  • Watching Next Gen with Josh
  • Dark Stardust pens (discontinued)
  • Aquariums
  • Oliver's blond curls

Monday, November 27, 2017

Times I've Felt Most Loved: Part 2.

  • My dearest friend, Keely, picked me up and ran to the house when I got a bee sting as a kid.
  • On her last visit, Mom took out the trash as she left.
  • When I was little, my nanna told me a long story (with answers to my many questions) about how she would take care of me if I were Thumbelina-sized.
  • I was on a business trip with my parents, and I forgot to bring a notebook. I felt sick without one. Mom and Dad went to a dinner, and Mom came back to the hotel with a spiral notebook from a gas station. I was astounded by the love in that gesture. She didn't have to understand; loving me was enough.
  • Melissa is always a brilliant gift-giber, tuning into my obsessions and wishes.
  • My grandfather used to buy me a book or two for the plane ride home.
  • Nursing Oliver, I felt a pure, simple, and profound form of love flowing between us.
  • Nick used to bring me a giant Frappuccino when I had a lot of homework.
  • Mom put scented gel pens in one of my last Easter baskets.
  • My uncle Chris took me to see Peter Pan and got me Peter's autograph!
  • After I got my wisdom teeth removed recently, Mom got up in the night to give me pain meds.
  • Dad took me to see Sunset Boulevard and bought me all the souvenirs I wanted.
  • Mom came with me to meetings as I tried to get Oliver into Pre-K. She took over when I wore down.
  • Shane gave us a new washer and dryer when ours were breaking down. Oliver was a newborn, and we were doing laundry constantly.
  • Michelle gave me a Q & A for Writers book. I feel great any time someone validates my writer self.
  • Bruce took care of Oliver all day while I was in the ER with lithium toxicity.
  • I taught Oliver to kiss early, and he was a generous kisser.
  • My mom-in-law kissed my check when I was in labor.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Week 5 as a Bold Reader.

I forgot to do this post last week. I finished Duende. This week, I finished The Apple That Astonished Paris. I need to catch up on Billy Collins.

I finished the front matter of  the dual-language Libro de Poems by Federico Garcia Lorca. The poems seem a little daunting, especially since I plan to read aloud the Spanish (though I'll probably understand very little, I want to let the language flow over me) and well as the translation.

I've still been reading Donald Hall poems one or two at a time. I'm noticeably past the half way point of his book.

Bath time is poetry time. It's a good arrangement, and I like associating one with the other.

I have a few more books on the armrests of my chair. I hope to spend some time with The Broken Way tonight. I've been reading Girlfriends by Susan Branch. It's light and colorful, and her handwriting is almost as delightful as her illustrations. I've read the front matter of Uniquely Human, which I think I need to read as a parent of a child with autism. Melissa recommended it to me.

And last, Ozma of Oz. Oliver won't let us read to him lately. I read the first two Oz books to him. I'm reading this third on my own, and it delights me. There's that word of the year again! Today, I read three or four chapters of Ozma of Oz.

Magazines intimidate me for some reason, but I hope to overcome that this coming week. Bolder and bolder!