OF TREES. Leaving the house the other day, I realized that the new tree’s name is Sanders. “I realized” and “The tree told me its name” are the same thing.
On a walk in a previously unexplored neighborhood, I came across a large corner lot. Three large oak trees and one mature pine tree mark a large circle in the lot. It’s a magnificent place. What is it? A meeting place for Wiccans or Druids? A place for Sunday school picnics for the Baptist church across the street? A place of me to meditate until I’m run away by the owner?
HOUSECLEANING. This time I filled bags with books, CD’s, clothes, cans of food. The trunk of Red Car is filled and ready for delivery to Goodwill, the food bank, Edward McKay’s Used Books. Good, good. Housecleaning this time became a time for simplification.
FICTION. Matthew Flaming, THE KINGDOM OF OHIO. (Berkley Publishing Group, 2009). The book is a well-crafted time travel story, a love story. Its characterizations of J.P. Morgan, Edison, and Tesla are provocative. Four quotations: (1) “Right’s minding your own business and doing what you truly see as best. Wrong’s telling somebody else what to do.” (2) “All the world, it is in books.” (3)”. . . finding the rhythms of a life.”
(4) “The machinery of the universe, the laws of cause and effect, tell us that the shape of the future is written in the past.” I want to consider more the third quotation. What is the rhythm of my life? Does it work for me now? Do I want variations? What are the strengths of the rhythm of my life?
NONFICTION. Steve Dublanica, WAITER RANT. (Harper, 2008). The book is observations about the operation of restaurants and the men and women who work there. The book gives an intimate view of the rewards and frustrations of the work. Deblanica reflects on his life in its broader dimensions through his experiences in work as a waiter. It’s well-done. It’s informative, interesting, and entertaining.
POETRY. A hundred years ago, Robert Frost published A BOY’S WILL, and it was a pleasure during three winter nights to re-read the thirty poems. I will continue to re-read some of the poems, and I particularly enjoyed my favorites: the beautiful and sorrowful “My November Guest,” the enigmatic “Love and a Question,” the celebration of kindred spirits in “The Turf of Flowers,” the mystical description of quiet sound in “Mowing,” the survival of love in the lyrical “A Line-Storm Song,” the ode to carpe diem “October.” Perhaps I shall memorize “A Line-Storm Song.” I will consider more several poems, especially the three sonnets, “Into My Own,” “A Dream Pang,” and “The Vantage Point.”
Thank you for reading. I hope you are enjoying January.