Right across the street at the library I’ve discovered a new source of ready-to-read reading selections: the books on the Librarians’ Choice shelf. Librarians and readers have a built in basis for friendship, and what do readers do? They share book suggestions. The shelf is another way of doing this.
Cold here: 12 degrees at mid-day. Our driveway is icy, although it was plowed. I’m enjoying my second snow day, recalling such respites when I was a teacher. Admittedly these current ones are more satisfying because I don’t need to make them up during the last, hot days in June. And, I was paid for them—no furlough.
In retirement I fill these snow days like any other day when I stay home in the winter. I read, cook, write, work on a jigsaw puzzle, and sit in the silence, solitude and simplicity. I stay in the house; taking is walk is not safe option.
Lately solitude has been taking center stage for me, pushing silence and simplicity to the role supporting cast. I prefer to do things alone—travel, go to museums, shop, eat, do a puzzle, walk. Perhaps I prefer solitude because I have family and friends as a balance. When I’m not alone, I visit people, which I certainly can’t do in solitude. Hmm, just thinking—the yin and yang of life.
Would you believe this? I was selected as one of two the blog stars for December 2018 by Lonely Planet for my 12/28 post “More Signs of a Solitary Traveler," posted in A Solitary Traveler on this blog.“ (LP Pathfinders: what did you write this month [December]’ in our Travel Bloggers and Pathfinders forum.”)
Thanks to everyone who submitted their wonderful travel tales from December 2018! A big congratulations to the following blog-stars who made it into this month's new-look round up:
You can check out the round-up in full, including why these blogs were selected, here: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/blog/2019/01/17/pathfinders-best-blogs-instagram-shots-and-videos-from-december-2018
Well done everyone! Keep up the wonderful travel writing and we look forward to reading more of your posts next month.
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations--
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice,
which you slowly
recognized as your own
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.
I’ve activated my ‘It’s time to go: letting go of stuff” blog. http://lettingofstuff.blogspot.com/ I started it in 2012 with the intention to get rid of something every day for a year. Well that didn’t happen: I’m just up to day 222/365. Hopefully my new intention isn’t just one of those New Year’s resolutions that fades away.
Last year we decided we’d move out of this old house, so we did a lot in preparation for that—painting rooms and getting rid of stuff. But we changed our minds.
Now we figure we will stay here as long as we are able to go up and down the stairs. Believe me, there is NO way to create a bedroom or a shower on the first floor. Maybe we’ll stay here forever, but in the mean time I’m purging—giving away or boxing stuff we don’t need or use. If nothing else, this resonates with my longing for simplicity.
Responsibility. A word I sometimes use at whim, fitting it into any situation, sometimes with sincerity, other times as a throw away such as have good day.
Response-ability; the ability to respond. That throws the oneness back on me; I can’t use it a throwaway any more. I must now ask myself if I have the ability to respond to a particular situation. Maybe yes, maybe no. If yes, my commitment begins, be it hard or easy, time consuming or short, joyful or sorrowful. If I take on a responsibility, I’d better do the best joy I can.
The New Year has unofficially officially begun. Usually sometime unofficial comes about before the official time, but not the New Year. Until Epiphany on January 6th, Christmas lingers, and that means last year lingers.
We didn’t decorate for Christmas, so there is nothing to put away, which is often a sign that the New Year has officially begun. Then there are the New Year’ resolutions. We want to start them on January 1st, but that doesn’t always happen. Who wants to eat raw broccoli without the dip on New Year’s Day?
I don’t make a long resolution list; I have my usual ones and leave it at that.However, over the past few days a new one, which undoubtedly has to do with my on-going longing for silence, solitude and simplicity, has surfaced. Keep conversations concise…don’t go on and on, and don’t enable others to do so.
Oops, I’d better end this right now!
Here are the most memorable books that I read in 2018: six nonfiction, seven fiction, listed in alphabetical order by author.
Choosing is not hard. During the year I highlight any book that I think might make the list, and when I gather them together, there they are.
I didn’t reach my 2019 Goodreads Reading Challenge goal of 78 (my age), coming up short by 5. Last year’s goal was 100 and I was 10 over. Why the difference? Maybe I spent more time listening to the news and watching the Red Sox.
My 79th birthday was two days ago, so I’m picking 80 books to accompany me this year.. I’m not obsessed with reaching the goal, although unlike my age, I do have some control over it.
• Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem, Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50-Year Friendship On and Off the Court
• Irving, Debby, Waking Up White: Finding Myself in the Story of Race
• Jeffs, Rachel, Breaking Free
• Orlean, Susan, The Library Book
• Smart, Elizabeth, Where There’s Hope
• Stevenson, Bryan, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
• Backman, Fredrik, Us Against You
• Carroll, James, The Cloister
• Honeyman, Gail, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
• Olsson, Linda, A Sister in My House
• Picoult, Jodi, Small Great Things
• Shakfak, Elif, Three Daughters of Eve
• Beha, Christopher R., What Happened to Sophie Wilder
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