amongst books

amongst books

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Sunday Thots

The wash is in the laundry cycle. I woke up at 2:30 and didn’t fall back to sleep until after 5, friends. I have coffee. It is almost 7. We have the makings of a general elevator trifecta, having taken #3 down, followed by 1. The 2 was occupied by a man with two pups, Siberian huskies maybe? They barked at us. They hadn’t had their coffee either.

This week I have been thinking about my privilege, privileges in the plural. I’m a white settler, I have food and shelter and enough financial support to be fairly secure in my life. All of these privileges make a difference to the way I see the world and the way I approach my life and my presence here. It is important that I am mindful of these privileges in my dealings with others. Things that are easy for me to do are not necessarily easy for those without those privileges.

This month Cindy Deachman’s newsletter Matter contemplates attachment to things and places. She shows great photos of books, objects, music, while talking about those who have lost their homes due to flooding, and the homeless locally. Her newsletter combines mindful and thoughtful meandering with beautiful photos, many of them by photographer spouse Tony Fouhse. You can subscribe by contacting Cindy directly at cdeachman at gmail dot com.

I am playing the soundtrack to the HBO film Oslo, which I haven’t even heard of, but Cellist Zoe Keating sends news of it in her newsletter this week. I love her music. The score has been nominated for an Emmy. Nice to hear that Keating is working on a new album again. Her tour schedule is set up for 2022 and she’s going to be in Toronto in January. I know it is hard for musicians and other performers who want to be able to perform in front of live audiences again.

We have now had elevator 2 for the ride back down to change the laundry over, with a brief stop to do our recycling and a climb down the stairs to the 2nd basement where the laundry room is, then the 2 again for the upward ride from the laundry room to our apartment. So we have a general trifecta, not ascending or descending.

Nadia Bolz-Weber’s weekly newsletter, the Corners this week is entitled “If you can't take in anymore, there's a reason - an essay on circuit breakers, empty buckets, and the shame-show of social media” NBW is an interesting person) she says obviously, otherwise why subscribe to the newsletter). She’s a Lutheran minister and a straight-on foul-mouthed tell it like it is speaker and author. Her books are on my to read list, especially, Pastrix, the cranky, beautiful faith of a sinner and saint

In this issue she likens the times we are living in to an overloaded fusebox. For those of you who are feeling guilty about not doing enough in these times to help with social injustice, climate change, etc, this week’s newsletter is a comfort. “It’s ok to focus on one fire.” I needed to hear that. Maybe you did too.

I admit that there are newsletters that I sometimes skip completely. The Paris Review newsletter is something I sign up for and then unsub from because I often just skip it. There’s only so much I can read and take in. This week I’m drawn to the interview with Kaveh Akbar entitled “Poetry is doing great.” I’m intrigued by this because I loved Calling A Wolf A Wolf, his first poetry book and I’ve heard through social media he has a second one out, Pilgrim Bell, and also because the idea of poetry doing great makes me think of it as a person, with needs for nurturing and care.

 This is the bit that spoke to me, “Were you ever a kid who would hold your shirt out like—I don’t know if you can see it—like this, and you would fill it with stones or shells or whatever? I feel like I’m just moving through the world with my shirt out in front of me, filling it with language and images.”

 I don’t read the whole interview, I’m content with that. I’ve been working on some poems for my current WIP and I’ve been filling a box with these too of late.

 I adored  Golden, The Toronto Ink Company’s newsletter this week on the move out of the attic studio. He takes us back to objects again as Cindy’s newsletter started this blog entry. In this case, a bottle of Eve’s Klein blue on the sill evokes a memory, as do the stains and old seeds on the floor.

 This time of year is always so full of the possibilities for change. A new school season begins in a few weeks. It’s complicated with the pandemic still raging on and endlessly on, but somewhere there are little kids with school supplies and new autumn clothes and I remember that feeling – both excited and afraid of what was to come. 

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