Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Written Word

I cannot narrow it down to one book. I have decided to jot down whatever comes to mind or heart first; I believe they are ones I can reread and savour anew.

To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
When I first read this in my early teens I cried and cried for Boo Radley. And the story left a lasting impression on me until this very day. It was my initial opening into the world of others. I think this is the first time I really wore the shoes of empathy.

The Last Days of Pompeii (Lord Lytton)
I do not really know why I was so fascinated with this book; perhaps it came to me at the perfect moment. A real time machine of a historical novel which transported me back and I felt as though I lived there with the characters. Perhaps I did?

A Glass Castle (Jeannette Walls)
The best life-story I have read. Wisdom, forgiveness, bittersweet, brilliance, education, reflection about society and what is "normal" are key descriptors. Incredible writer. I gift this book whenever I can and I hope that I can gift it to you by virtue of you reading this blog. Perhaps you can post a comment after you have read it to share your reflections?

The Third Eye (Lobsang Rampa)
I read as a child- another that left a lasting impression. My first foray (at least this lifetime) into the world of Eastern philosophy. The book was controversial as some claim it was not true, although the author claims otherwise.

Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
No elaboration needed.

Written on the Body (Jeannette Winterson)
Just because she is an artist: Jeannette Winterson paints words on canvas.

A Walk in the Woods (Bill Bryson)
Funny, funny, funny. And I love nature and hiking.

Eastern Body, Western Mind (Judith Anodea)
My bible of sorts for explaining the human psyche, emotions...

Autobiography of a Yogi (Paramhansa Yogananda)
The best window into the essence of "yoga".

And any words strung together by John O'Donohue, Rumi, and Mary Oliver.

Just yesterday I came across this beautiful way to start the day:

Hello, sun in my face
Hello, you who made the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety –
best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light –
good morning, good morning, good morning.
Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness.

—Mary Oliver