Green Toad Book Store The Green Toad is my local bookshop, which is the best place to go if you'd like a signed copy of Sweater Quest. I can drop down to the store and personalize a copy for you, too. Just drop Michele an email and she'll set you up.
Jennie Ketcham: I Am Jennie Raw, compelling, honest and graphic.
Dorothy Wickenden: Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West What struck me most is how resilient these two women were and how much cheer they seemed to approached every obstacle with. This is the sort of story that reminds you that history isn't just monolith but an enormous series of interlocked very local stories.
"May we have the skill to work with the raw materials we've been given, the clarity to understand their best use, and the tenacity to weave even thread spun from nettles into cloth that is beautiful and strong."
-- stolen from Terri Windling. Go here to get the full effect.
(An extra quote for the week, mostly because it's too good not to share right now. I didn't want to wait until Friday.)
"A bad back makes you realize that every single nerve in your body is connected to your spine; a bad head, though, puts you in direct connection with the cosmos. Every noise, every photon, every speck of stellar dust strikes the brain's gray pulp like a war hammer. I knew from experience the best defense in this sort of situation was to die as quickly as possible. I fell back on Plan B, which was to wait until the pain subsided just enough to begin whimpering and dry heaving."
-- from Swell by Corwin Ericson, which is great fun.
I've been trying to find the best way to introduce a new development in my life, one that I never saw coming. I'm still at a loss. So here are a few pictures, while I warm up:
This is Stonehenge, as constructed by Maddy. And, yes, I did hum the Spinal Tap song when I first saw it.
Also Stonehenge (perhaps after a seismic shock), by the Boy.
They made these at church.
I'm not churchy. I deeply enjoy grocery shopping on Sunday mornings because I have the store to myself.* The whole organized God thing gives me the willies. I've written about my lack of faith on at least one occasion. I lived in the South for long enough to find the tactics of certain brands of Godly vile. All of this is still true.
And yet here I am. Going to church. On Sundays. And exposing my children,** too.
If the Stonehenge bit didn't give away the fact that it's a Unitarian Church, the title of last week's sermon will cement it: Faithful Athiesm.*** One of the readings was Penn Gillette's "There is no God," which eloquently sums up my belief, too.****
So why go to church, if there is no God? Because I do believe in community. I believe in getting together at least once per week with people who live near me and among whom my children are growing up. A community gives a buffer against the vagaries of life. Shared joy is increased; shared pain is lessened. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Plus, I get guaranteed knitting time during the sermons. Always a plus.
As I discovered with running, saying "never" almost never pays off. Wonder what I'll take up next....
* In Knoxville, I used to save the shopping for Vol games during football season. Which is like Saturday church for many.
** Scott's commitment is TBD each week. He's less gung-ho than I. Which adequately sums up our relationship in general.
**** Especially this bit: Believing there's no God means I can't really be forgiven except by kindness and faulty memories. That's good; it makes me want to be more thoughtful. I have to try to treat people right the first time around.
Remember what you did last week? Assuming of course that you have chosen to play along. If not, well, why not?
On the top of blank document, pick one your WHATs and write it at the top. Pick a WHERE and write it under the WHAT. Pick a WHO. Your WHO is alone on stage, talking to him/herself. Write for five minutes.
Then a second WHO walks in. Write for ten minutes.
When you get stuck, think about your WHAT. What does that bring up for you?
"For the first time in our history, a black man lives in the White House, and today's is the first massive protest against his administration, and 99.9999 percent of us are white and fan-followers of race-baiting pundits -- and mind you, this is in America, where you can't walk into a convenience store without having or witnessing at least three intense, awkward, occasionally inspiring moments of racial tension -- but despite all that, today has 'nothing to do with race.' This phenomenon will be known to future Americans as the 'Race Miracle of 9/12.'"
-- from "American Grotesque," which is about the "9/12" protest instigated by Glenn Beck, and collected in John Jeremiah Sullivan's Pulphead, which I highly recommend if you like good writing.
ETA: I have fixed the vacuum. *happy dance* Now I just need the energy to use it.