Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart


for love of a book

books

photo by the author

I’ve loved books since before I could read them. I vaguely remember chewing on a cloth book my mother or aunt gave me, but it may only be a family story. I do know I read early, and with gusto. ANYTHING: cereal boxes, manuals, maps, kids books, the paper, comics, and whatever else had letters on it.

Later, I’d end up an English major — where do most readers fetch up? So, this is a life-long reader’s ode to her most recent love affair with a book.

Because last night, I read one of those books you know will stay with you. Maybe it won’t be everyone’s big book — it’s not Tolkien or Tolstoi. But it a little like the books I read as a child — those books you inhaled, staying up into the late late night to finish.

I checked it out of the library yesterday afternoon, and was done with the 300+ pages by late evening. It was that necessary to read every word.

I’m not going to say what book it was — that’s not the point. It could be any of at least 50 books I’ve read through my life: Little Women, as a child. Later, The Last Unicorn. And of course Moby Dick, and a book of poetry by Ishmael Reed. Another by Mark Doty. M.F.K. Fisher’s Art of Eating. May Sarton and Carolyn Heilbrun, Mary Oliver and Mary Rose O’Reilley. Jack Kornfeld. Howard Gardiner and Richard Rodriguez and so many others. Books that transformed me, changed as surely as if I had them tattooed onto my skin.

I Love Books

courtesy Google

This is just one of many many bookshelves through our house, crammed with mysteries, sci fi, theory, science, how-to, gardening, war lit, poetry, art, esoterica, religion and spiritual thought, cookbooks… Almost any kind of book you can imagine.

Because here’s the point: books are FOOD. Food for heart and mind and growth and the broadening of all our horizons. It’s why people fear them, why writers are still killed in some countries. Why various volumes have been banned over the centuries.

Sometimes, when I am teaching, I remind people that the first of Hitler’s victims were not the Jews. They were the artists, the teachers, the intellectuals. Because within those minds were books. And books are as dangerous as any weapon, if not as immediately fatal.

Go find a book. Be ready to change.



Previous Posts

contrasts and contradictions (or not...)
See the snow outside? It's inches -- nothing for Boston (they should be so lucky!), but a big deal for Oklahoma. And more to come, the weather folks predict.  A cardinal is on one feeder, a vivid splash of colou

posted 11:42:43am Feb. 28, 2015 | read full post »

a long long time ago, or, updating our moral software
  This used to be the way America looked at women voting. And to be honest, some of these jokes are still around. But for the vast majority of Americans, we accept that women have the right to vote. Even though it's not in the original Constitution. That's an important 'even though,' sin

posted 10:52:31pm Feb. 26, 2015 | read full post »

the vulnerability of grace
This is a post about sharing. About a man who has inspired me for a long time, and his impending loss. It's about intelligence, wit, and vulnerability. And the irreplaceable magic of those braided qualities

posted 4:25:29pm Feb. 23, 2015 | read full post »

lists, writing, and cleaning the mind's house
  Ever since I was a little girl, I've visualised my mind as an old house. And lately it seems more like a house that needs a LOT of TLC -- re: it's  kind of a mess. So when the facilitator at the

posted 3:50:10pm Feb. 21, 2015 | read full post »

oh RATS, or, rescue and repatriation and compassion
This is Rattus norvegicus, the common brown rat. It's the same rat many lab rats are bred from, and it's SMART. Also, not so nice to have as a wild resident. As in: living in your laundry room. Even if the laundry room is only an occasional outing (inning?) from the garage, where it's set up house.

posted 6:43:38pm Feb. 19, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.