It would have been Gandhi's birthday today, I found it hard to pick a quote by him as there are so many absolute gems. There is to be a programme about his life on TV this weekend. That I must not miss.
- I think it would be a good idea.
I have a feast of books to read at the moment and as the hibernation season is not too far off I am looking forward to cosy days and nights of self-indulgence when I can curl up round the hearth or snuggle down under the duvet and simply lose myself. You can see what awaits me on my bedside table in the side panel of this blog. I am only too happy to escape the world sometimes, especially when I accidentally catch the TV news (I have in fact given up watching it).
I have just finished reading Home by the American writer Marilynne Robinson for our book group and I am very grateful to the group member who suggested it. If you haven’t read it, it is one of those titles that I would force upon you. I have been more than touched by it, it has left me with a chasm of sadness, a deeply felt sorrow for all the characters within its pages. Yet still I urge you to read it because it is brilliant and it will set you thinking.
When I began the book I thought Oh my God this is so slow - I don’t mind a slow pace, don’t get me wrong but this seemed painstakingly so. But I gradually got into it and adapted to its pace, I began to love it and in a strange way I felt myself become part of the home about which Marilynne was writing, it was quite a weird feeling - it seemed as if I too was a member of the family and was emotionally involved. It did make me weep and I know I am not the only one. This woman is a writer of very high calibre. Somewhere I read in a review that her prose has a musical quality, I understand what they mean; it is not exactly poetic prose or even lyrical but it has a steady rhythm and a beautiful melody within it. I am going to read her other titles Gilead and Housekeeping and will report back on those.
I have treated myself to the new book, the volume of poems which is Echoes of Memory by the dear, departed and very much missed John O’Donohue, I also bought a copy for my sister for her birthday, I hope she will love it. Here is a poem by him, not one from his new collection but one I hope you will appreciate.
When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight,
The light in the mind becomes dim.
Things you could take in your stride before
Now become laborsome events of will.
Weariness invades your spirit.
Gravity begins falling inside you,
Dragging down every bone.
The ride you never valued has gone out.
And you are marooned on unsure ground.
Something within you has closed down;
And you cannot push yourself back to life.
You have been forced to enter empty time.
The desire that drove you has relinquished.
There is nothing else to do now but rest
And patiently learn to receive the self
You have forsaken for the race of days.
At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like listless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.
You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.
Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.
Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.
Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.
Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.
Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.
Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.
Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.
|-- from To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings, by John O'Donohue|
I have even more to look forward to. David Gray’s new CD Draw the Line is on its way to me in the post as is Mark Knopfler’s CD Get Lucky.
So life is good, I can read and listen to music in the background. I can also write along to music, do you ever do that? What do you listen to?
And what are you reading at the moment? Do tell.
Bye for now,
Go mbeannai Dia duit,