A Blast from the Past

I’ve been organizing bookshelves in my office, and I found some classics from my past.

When I was 13, I had to make a decision about continuing my Catholic faith. I decided to step away from the church, and I had many questions. This book helped me with that:

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Well-worn reminders of why books are so important.

I had almost forgotten about this fun middle grade adventure:

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Check out these great interior illustrations:

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As Long as we have Beauty

Today is the penultimate eve of the new presidency. Like many, I have great fears for our future. Not only does idea of a horrible world leader terrify me, but the new reign of greed, well, that terrifies me as well.

These are scary times.

Yes, it is also a time of action.

Many are drawn to march and serve in public office, which is awesome.

There are other ways to fight against the hate.

As long as we can create, we can move forward.

We can create beauty, and as long as we have beauty, we have hope.

As long as we appreciate the beauty, we have hope.

And I hope to create beauty in truth through the characters and worlds I create.

Here’s something beautiful from one of my favorite composers. It’s worth a listen when the news is getting you down.

 

From “The Infinite”

From “The Infinite”


So with my mind I encompass an eternity,
And the seasons die, and the present lives
In that sound. And in the middle of all that
Immensity, my thought drowns itself:
Sweet to me, to be shipwrecked in this sea.

—Giacamo Leopardi, translated by Richard Jackson

Darkness and Light

This is the time of year where the sun sits low in the sky and rain falls sometimes ceaselessly.

So much bad news in recent weeks and too many deaths.

It’s easy to fall into the darkness.

Yet, it’s not my nature to do so.

I find light in unusual places.

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Moments of sunshine

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and comfort when everything else feels chaotic and unsure.

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“Yet the lilac with mastering odor holds me”

Wait!

The lilacs are blooming!

It seems to early, but we had a mild winter.

IMG_4951I want time to stop. With the cherry tree blossoms just about to drop and the lilacs just opening, this phase of spring sings perfection.

In an American literature course a million years ago we read poetry. When we analyzed Whitman’s “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d,” we discussed the theme of grief and considered the pastoral elements in the poem.

What about the lilacs?

“Have you ever smelled lilacs?” Dr. Chianese, our professor, asked us.

Most of us had not. We were Los Angeles types moved by scent of jasmine and orange blossoms. We had no source of reference.

I now understand Dr. Chianese’s question, for the scent of a lilac is truly exquisite, ephemeral, and unique. The short space of time when Whitman contemplated the death of President Lincoln, and I rejoice in the rebirth of the garden.

 

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