11.20.2008

housekeeping



"A narrow pond would form in the orchard, water clear as air covering grass and black leaves and fallen branches, and all around it black leaves and drenched grass and fallen branches, and on it, slight as an image in an eye, sky, clouds, trees, our hovering faces and our cold hands."

"We would make a circle, and never reach a shore at all, if there were a vortex, I thought, and we would be drawn down into the darker world, where other sounds would pour into our ears until we seemed to find songs in them, and the sight of water would invade our eyes, and the taste of water would invade our bowels and unstring our bones, and we would know the seasons and customs of the place as if there were no others."

"But here rare flowers would gleam in her hair, and on her breast, and in her hands, and there would be children all around her, to love and marvel at her for her beauty, and to laugh at her extravagant adornments, as if they had set the flowers in her hair and thrown down all the flowers at her feet, and they would forgive her, eagerly and lavishly, for turning away, though she never asked to be forgiven. Though her hands were ice and did not touch them, she would be more than mother to them, she so calm, so still, and they such wild and orphan things."

Lately I've been averaging a goal of one book per week. It's good for me, and if my English BA taught me anything it's that I have hardly read anything. I'm working on chipping away at some of the books I've heard about, had recommended to me, and even written papers on and have yet to open the cover. I'm on goodreads and its nice to have a small forum (7 or so "friends" and friends) for discussion and feedback. Yesterday I finished Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson. It's lyrically beautiful, and somber and peaceful and sad and beautiful. Named (rightfully) by The Guardian as one of the 100 greatest novels of all time, I would say it's one book everyone should read, aloud or silently, but personally, never with the acclaim of something like Twilight (which I refuse to read) or even East of Eden (which I adored) post Oprah's book club public revival of it. Marilynne Robinson's newest book Home is up for the National Book award given sometime this week. I look forward to it, Gilead, Mother Country, and The death of Adam ... but one at a time.

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