I love the wise words in this beautiful poem by Veronica Patterson!
These poems along with beautiful photography and art are found on the Facebook page of Parker J. Palmer, founder of The Center for Courage and Renewal. I admire his work, and these posts of poetry and art are a special treat when they show up on my FB feed.
This beautifully written story is uplifting reading for this time when we are surrounded by so much fear and hate. Naomi Shihab Nye is a wonderful writer (I love her poetry!) and a lovely human being. I hope you enjoy these wise words as much as I did.
Mem Fox has long been a favorite author of mine and of my students over the years. Her books are very special and dearly loved by group after group of my second graders. So, tonight, when I read a news article about the treatment she received upon entering the United States for a conference — please click here to read the article — I felt absolutely sick with sadness, embarrassment, and outrage at what my country is becoming. When the leader of the country and his minions demonstrate bullying and hateful behaviors on a daily basis, their behavior gives permission to other cowards and small-minded people to behave the same way. Mem was subjected to that ugliness, and I just want to tell her how very sorry I am that that happened to her and how ashamed I am of those people in my country that are so consumed with hate and meanness … and that have been given free reign to bully.
On finishing The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, the only thing I could say at first was “Wow!” It is quite a story, so very well written, so very powerful, and so very sobering…I think it will stay with me for a long, long time.
Set in a dystopian future, in what these days seems chillingly like the near future, women have lost all rights. “Handmaids” are the only women who are still able to bear children, and their existence is completely dependent on being successful in producing a child…a child that another woman of a higher status will raise.
The story is an interesting exploration of the lives of women in a totalitarian regime. It is a profound immersion into the “What Ifs” we must all ask ourselves about our society. I found it sad, disturbing, and fascinating, but not without hope! I couldn’t put it down.
I’ve been thinking about it since I finished it a few days ago and realized that I am looking at things differently now. This is a perspective-changing book, and during this tumultuous time in US history, I think it is an important book for exactly that reason. It was written in 1985, and I was aware of it but until last week was too intimidated to read it. However, I’ve been so concerned about the direction our society is taking these days and the difficult challenges we all face, that I felt that instead of “escaping” (my usual response to overwhelming news), I needed to tackle some of these ideas head on. I’m glad I finally found the courage to do so.
A painting by one of my favorite artists: Deborah DeWit
Tonight just a thought about reading…
“One can always read a good book twice, ” Mrs Arbuthnot snapped. “In fact one always should read a good book twice.”
~ Elizabeth Taylor, Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont
60% of the way through this audiobook and I can’t stop listening. I’ve been afraid to read it for a long time now but felt it was an important one that needed to be read… The time was right and I found the courage to start it. Now I can’t put it down.
One of my favorite poets is Naomi Shihab Nye, and her beautiful poem, Kindness, is one of my favorites. Wise words for us all.
Looking through some of my old notebooks the other day, I found an extensive bibliography of a book that I vaguely remember reading: Images of Women in Fiction: Feminist Perspectives, by Susan K. Cornillon. It was a library book, I remember that, and I was particularly interested in the extensive bibliography the author included. At that time I was a young stay-at-home mother with a 2-1/2 year old, so I must have been very Impressed because I took the time to copy it down, filling 5 pages in my notebook. With my cell phone, I took photos of those five pages to share with you because it’s a terrific book list! And it was fun for me to realize that over the years since 1974, I have read many of those books even though I hadn’t looked at that list in years! Do you keep notebooks? They really do turn into treasures after a few years…
Note: You can stop the slideshow and then click on the page to enlarge it if you want to look more closely at the list.
My early morning reading on this icy February morning…
This morning my pre-ordered Kindle book arrived. I decided to give myself and give my mother this book as a gift of hope. Michelle Obama is a person she and I greatly admire. Her words always give us hope and courage, which are things we will all need in the coming days, weeks, years.