Appreciating a Master

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Appreciating a Master

Is a Vitamin for the Brain

Anthony Doerr did in fact win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2015.  I recently read, All the Light We Cannot See, the book which earned him this prestigious prize. This book, rich in vocabulary, was not only a page turner, it grabbed the recesses of the souls of the characters, and left them almost exquisitely bare for the reader to feel, know, and even see, in one’s mind; the settings, the intensity of worn torn Paris, the smells of Nazi Germany: all were there for the reader to experience.

What is the message here?  Only that when one has the opportunity to read, well, hallelujah!  Time at work, on the computer, doing errands deplete the day of its opportunities well worth taking and ever so needed.  In a society where an author may write what he feels, researches, and finds in his soul the effort and intensity to express for others, we are ever so lucky to be able to choose to read what he imparted.  European history swirls in threads throughout the world today; war never really goes away.  It heals to read, even historical fiction.  We know in our hearts, there are always tons of good people in bad situations.

To understand is to grow.  To grow to peace for the past is to give the present its due: a chance. This book has enough brilliance that this blogger could write many more paragraphs.  Leaving it here is enough though, point being, taking time to read stimulates thinking, and thinking about things means we find good and understanding and perhaps, even change a little.

If I were a college lit teacher, or history teacher: extra credit all around for reading this amazing book.

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Memories

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A Perfect Swim

Cygnet 1: The water’s perfect!  Cygnet 2: Nearly so!  Cygnet 3: Love being outside today. Cygnet 4: Could be more sun. Cygnet 5: Why am I always in the middle? Cygnet 6: I feel snuggly. Cygnet 7: I am hungry.  Cygnet 8: What a glorious day!

 

Christmas Memories or Just Memories

Christmas!  It happens most years that we gather with our families, and begin to reminisce about times gone by.  It feels so good when we get together and remember our childhoods; even young people enjoy this experience.  It doesn’t matter if we say, “Last year…” or “About 30 years ago…” or “Remember in 1992 when we…” These sentence starters happen.  Our families have the generations and so we hear these beginnings.  We laugh.  We cry.  We think.  We yearn, especially for the ones who’ve gone on, moved or live in Heaven.  We need to remember, yet, it isn’t always easy for everyone to remember, in both senses of the word, ‘easy’.

The thing is that when one ages, it seems there are more memories.  What surprises the most is the reaction others have to one’s memories.  This past holiday, memories were met with a variety of reactions, all good, but it was something noticeably interesting that conversations brought shared memories of the ones who were ‘there’ to be a bit different from each other.  It’s not that it caused any uncomfortable situations, just that shared experiences are really never completely shared.

There is the conundrum.  It occurred to this blogger’s brain that there is no way we can have the same memories, identical conversations, or feelings; we just cannot go back and expect total accuracy at all.  It like a room full of quilts: they are all beautiful blankets, works of art, but the effort, emotion, number of stiches, and meanings vary almost to the measure that they are not the same at all and only share in the part that they cover a bed.

It seems worth mentioning the fact that conversations about memories may benefit from a watchful eye just as everyday conversations do.  As each day happens, we will all experience it differently, regardless that we are all humans or that we are all Americans, or all hungry for dinner.  We share a lot, but not quite exactly the same of anything, on any level.

What’s the point?  The point is that it well worth embracing one’s own memories, but to be aware that others may not share the joy, amusement, or pain felt, or even remember the events, in the same way.  When we seek peace and love in our familial relationships, we grow from caring about our words, which includes telling our own truth in what remember while realizing another may hold a tweaked version of the truth.  Just a thought.