The afternoon of this read-a-thon has been very enjoyable. I took a reading break, late morning, and attended a town hall meeting with one of our Oregon senators, Ron Wyden. This was actually his 888th town hall meeting since he was first elected, and I think that’s a wonderful achievement for any politician! He is a senator that really listens to his constituents!
After the meeting, it was back to my reading, and I spent the afternoon immersed in Alice Hoffman’s elegant book, Green Angel. Alice Hoffman’s prose is absolutely beautiful, and this story of grief and renewal was a very moving one. The book begins here:
I once believed that life was a gift. I thought whatever I wanted I would someday possess. Is that greed, or only youth? Is it hope or stupidity? As far as I was concerned the future was a book I could write to suit myself, chapter after chapter of good fortune. All was right with the world, and my place in it was assured, or so I thought then. I had no idea that all stories unfold like white flowers, petal by petal, each in its own time and season, dependent on circumstance and fate. The future is something no one can foretell.
A shy and introverted young girl, called “Green” (because she is gifted at gardening), loses her family when a terrible disaster destroys the city across the river from their home. Her family had gone to sell produce in the city, leaving her reluctantly behind. So many of the people in the community were killed, and the environment all around was damaged, as well, so Green’s grief was for everyone and everything that she knew before. The slow healing from such a devastating loss is poignantly described in this story.
This is actually my second time reading this book. The first time was quite a few years ago after I had suffered a devastating loss of my own. This was the first book I was able to read after spending most of a year unable to complete any book. It was, for me, a very healing book, and helped me get back to myself and to my reading. So I was curious to read it again, at a much happier time, and see how I felt about it. The beauty of it brought tears to my eyes.
So it has been an interesting afternoon, and a very enjoyable one. I’m continuing with my reading this evening, although I don’t plan to stay up too late… We’ll see! I’m loving this read-a-thon!