29 August 2012

"so much great stuff, so little time"

Another crazy week at work, and I just want to escape into a book...I came across this post in my reader, and he suggested several books, including one that was already on my list: Radioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie...and, I loved his comment on the bestseller, 50 Shades of Gray: "Just don't spend more than two hours with it, or it may render you stupid for life."

Jesse Kornbluth, at English Muse

I'll return after Labor Day.

13 August 2012

the sun

"When I walked into Emma's room and introduced myself, she said, "I don't need any missionaries. You're wasting your time."...

Each time I came to see her, Emma had more questions. I went from visiting once a week to two or three times. I'd been told she had only a couple of months to live, but she continued to be my patient for more than a year. She told me that she'd been a court reporter all her life, had never married or had children, and had many regrets about friends she'd dropped along the way because she was 'too busy.'

One day Emma asked, 'So, where are you going after you leave here?'

I sighed, 'To the grocery store. I absolutely hate grocery shopping!' I've been doing it for forty years, and I'm so tired of it.'

Emma looked out the window. 'Oh, I'd give anything to be able to get out of this bed, put on real clothes, make a list of what I want to eat, walk out that door, and drive to the store.' She described how she'd pick whatever she wanted and go home and cook it herself and maybe invite a friend over to dinner. Listening to her made me aware of how much I took for granted.

When I returned a few days later, Emma's bed was empty. A staff member told me she'd died just hours earlier.

Grocery shopping has never been the same."

L. D.           "Readers Write" about Paying Attention, in The Sun Magazine

10 August 2012

i've been reading...

"After some time I found Salomon's ward, the vegetable patch. The old nurse who sat the desk by the door was asleep. Without disturbing her I made my way into the enormous room which housed Salomon's children. The whooshing sound of the groaning iron lungs greeted me. The air was musty; everything seemed covered with a fine, chalky dust. I wondered why whoever had built the hospital had built such an enormous room...and I wondered how many had been built.

I made my way slowly between the rows of beds and iron lungs. I held my breath. I didn't want to rouse them from their sleep, their sleep of death-in-life. I thought of the many times I had turned over large stones while playing along the river, turned them over to watch in fascination and with some repulsion the teeming life which lived beneath the stones. Pale bugs, colorless tendrils, white ants that scurried for the dark, insects that had never seen the sun..

So were the vegetables in the enormous room. They lived in the dark beneath the weight of the hospital. Their pale eyes turned to follow me. I couldn't speak, but I cursed them through clenched teeth. I cursed them because I could move and they couldn't. I feared them like I feared the bugs that lived beneath the stone."

Tortuga, by Rudolfo Anaya

"Anaya brings an unusual perspective to this tale of adolescent experience which incorporates cross-cultural elements unique to the American Southwest. Native American myth and lore provide a backdrop and a particular idea of healing that inform the way disease and health are described; the spiritual dimension is never obliterated by clinical detail. The boy's point of view is sensitively, sometimes exquisitely imagined." Literature, Arts and Medicine Database

"Before you can blame an individual for their choices, you have to make sure they have the same choices as everyone else."

Bix , the fanatic cook.