Pages

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Crafted words, true words and knitting. One thing is not like the others.

I have been trying to focus on reading more during my 'down' time - say, 3-5A.   Since I tend to obsess, I am slowly easing off the knitting (one sweater 99.9% done, second sweater 90%, scarf/shawl too boring to spend too much time on, socks on the needles).  I can feel myself being drawn towards my BritBox subscription (curse you, Marianne), so I am tempting myself with a stack of physical and virtual books - the latter of which maintains my sanity during my daily commute.


Right now, I am listening to Rough Beauty by Karen Auvinen, a memoir that was enthusiastically referred by Bestie, Sylvie.  I couldn't find it via Libby, my library's audiobook app that allows you to borrow audiobooks from your library for free, so I got it on Audible.  The nice thing about Audible is that you can test listen - very important because a narrator can make or break a book's enjoyment.  I cringingly remember listening to Jane Eyre, where the male narrator took it upon himself to read Jane's parts in a piercing falsetto, or the recent horror read in HIGH DRAMA.  As I have listened to Rough Beauty, I've been swept up with Auvinen's words - with her, you are facing the mountains in Colorado, seeing the swathe of spring flowers and hearing the birds, or sitting in a cabin while the winter winds roar.  She is what I always wanted to be in my heart of hearts - fierce, independent, brave.  I am bracing myself, as I've reached the part where her companion of many years, a fine dog of the Husky persuasion, is reaching the end of his life.  I will most likely have to pull off to the side of the road to get through that or listen to it at home.


For home reading, I am savoring Inland Island, by Josephine Johnson.  This book is out of print - Amazon refers to it as a Story Press endangered classic.  I found my copy through Thriftbooks.  This is also about a woman's observations of nature, but in a totally different voice.  Her language is fierce, amazing and true.  It is not the carefully, albeit lovingly, crafted prose of Auvinen's, but a language that is so completely pure that it's breathtaking.  Descriptions that make your mind take a sudden seat - BAM!  There are whole paragraphs that I have marked with the ever-handy Post-It notes that I want to memorize so that I can summon them up when I want to be reminded how really beautiful words can be.  I will never dismiss the miracle of a lady beetle again.


I still have to face my knitting - my summer-weight green cardigan needs to have its ends woven in and be blocked.  I am quite happy with it.  My worsted weight steel-grey sweater is continuing to challenge me, which I am enjoying immensely.  I had made the mistake of starting an easy knit for waiting rooms, etc., instead of my usual sock project.  Mistake.  It is so mind-numbing that I am loathe to pick it up.  It may be mouldering in its project bag for years.  I have a big list of sock gift-giving so I had better get cracking.  No matter how hard I try to ignore it, the days are getting shorter.  Summer is sprinting by - or should I say flowing by.  We have had over six inches of rain since the beginning of August - the opposite end of the spectrum to our friends on the left coast.


Thanks to friends with gardens, I have had zucchini crust pizza, zucchini fritters, zucchini and sweet corn pie, zucchini breakfast cake.  I am planning on an eggplant Parmesan this weekend, along with more fritter-making, as these freeze well and are a nice, quick dinner when you are mired in February.  Another batch of gazpacho is on the near horizon.  It's nice to be awash in vege - although I do miss growing it myself.  Next year.  Next year.



23 comments:

Susan said...

It's so ridiculous to have to go through this...

Theresa said...

I have to be honest, the parts where the dog/cat/horse dies, I skip. I just can't since it is always so close to home. I know how it feels, I don't need to read it.
I have a running list of movies I won't subject myself to either and I curse John Steinbeck for scarring me for life over The Red Pony.
Pets to Lovey and the Itch, don't forget Slimmie and I wanna see that green sweater!

tpals said...

I was in the middle of a series when I checked the reviews of the next book...and decided to stop reading them. Picking up Inland Island off ebay instead. :)

Susan said...

I usually fast forward through it, but can't on my car stereo. So I will have to tough it out, but it usually upsets me so much that I am not safe driving. Maybe I should just sit in my driveway. Funny, I refused to read Steinbeck after The Red Pony, too. I've never forgiven him. I will roll out the sweater after it's blocked - given my propensity towards procrastination, maybe next March? :)

Susan said...

Good thinking! It's always really disappointing when you are invested in a series and then it peters out as you read on. As a writer, I think you will really enjoy Inland Island. I am going to pick up another of her books to see if the writing holds up - I would bet good money it does.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Yes, it's getting to be that time of year again -- zucchini EVERYTHING.

Michelle said...

I am a committed "finisher," but Theresa's practice has definite merit! "A Dog's Life" completely tore me up (multiple times), but I have to admit that once the jagged edges eroded, the memory of the book is powerfully good medicine. Did you post that zucchini pizza crust recipe? I can't find it in my bookmarked recipes, and I need it....

Michelle said...

Never mind; I just found it in my email folder!

Susan said...

I could never understand why people resented having their mailboxes filled with zucchini by well-wishing friends. Go ahead - fill my mailbox!

Susan said...

Let me know if you need it again - I'm going to try making some and freezing them. Fingers crossed.

Kristina said...

Thanks for the titles. One day soon, I'll be holding a book in my hands. That's great you are being supplied with so many veggies.

Theresa said...

A Dog's Life and The Art of Racing in the Rain are both culprits in my now skipping the sad bits in most books. I'm fine with people dying, just not animals. Not sure what that says about me.....

Theresa said...

Wordy fool that I am I misquoted. It's A Dog's Purpose by WB Cameron

Ed said...

I've been getting some reading done too in-between canner batches!

Susan said...

Yes, we are sweltering and parched on the left coast. I have given up watering anything but fall/winter seedlings in case the well gives out-my personal nightmare. It has been 40C in the meadow several times. I've just read two depressing books-The Reader and Ghost Babies-time for something more uplifting.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i love zucchini time. i only grew one little zucchini this year. i hope friends take pity on me!

Susan said...

I am lucky to be around like-minded people, as in they grow big gardens. I think we've been having the same lousy gardening year. The Year of Weeds!

Susan said...

I thank you for the warning. It's a Dog's Purpose was on my reading list.

Susan said...

I'd be interested in what you are reading - you gave up fiction, right?

Susan said...

Good god. You definitely need something uplifting. Try News of the World. It has a happy ending. :) I hear you on the well - mine charged/emptied a few years ago and I have been tippy-toeing around it every summer.

Susan said...

Pity, my ass. Your friends owe you TONS of zucchini for all the deliciousness you have cooked their way!

Michelle said...

I made the same naming mistake; I also meant “A Dog’s Purpose.” But like I said, it has left a profound memory once time has passed!

Florida Farm Girl said...

Uh oh. Two more books to go on the list. SIGH........