The Virginia Woolf reading continues apace. I finished Moments of Being after taking my time with it. This is a collection of autobiographical essays very much worth reading if Woolf is your cup of tea. I also managed to squeeze in reading The Mare and wow! A superbly written and powerful coming-of-age story about a complicated pre-teen girl.
What are you reading?
Summer is here. It was, in fact, here before last Monday’s solstice and full moon: blazing hot, high humidity, lush green everywhere. Nothing in nature or life is at a standstill. There is constant shifting. No matter how I want to master the ebb and flow of life, to feel caught up, on top of things, life has a way of transforming once again. Sometimes in the blink of an eye. I like that I am still learning lessons from poets, from books, from nature, from friends, from my children.
I think the only thing not changing anytime soon is the whiteness of my legs.
I posted this photo on IG one morning last week. I dithered about posting it. Later in the day I debated deleting it. And now I am sharing it here in an effort to keep it real and maybe, just maybe, get over myself a bit.
Here’s the thing: I took that photo sitting on my sofa, iced coffee in one hand, iPhone in the other. As I was posting it on IG and typing a few words to go with it, I noticed my hand looks like my mother’s hand. It’s more than just the shape of my hand or length of my fingers, it is the crepe paper skin that seems to have appeared overnight. Where did that come from? I was bothered. Greatly. This getting old(er) thing is not for the faint of heart.
Out of an abundance of curiosity, what is the one getting old(er) thing you have the most trouble with? It isn’t the silver in the hair. I quit dyeing mine years ago. It isn’t the laugh lines. For me, it’s the crepe paper skin. Followed closely by a shifting of weight (has gravity pulled it all down?) though thankfully the right clothing can cover that.
I tried Aveda moisturizer (love the scent!) and this one from Weleda. They are both lovely but surely there must be something better. Suggestions?
“Books are the best means—private, discreet, reliable—of overcoming reality.”
—Lahiri, In Other Words
Friends, I am still deep in the throes of my Virginia Woolf reading plan but given the hectic last two weeks and the fact I was reading in fits and bursts rather than in stretches of time, I picked up something purely for pleasure: Clever Girl, In Other Words, and L’élégance du hérisson.
I am a Lahiri fan and read everything she writes from stories to novels to articles for magazines. This book spoke to me as someone who functions and lives life in English but most often is thinking in French. My notebooks are a mix of the two languages. For these reasons alone, I felt compelled to read this book she undertook to write in Italian. If you are at all interested in language and the way it shapes you and/or is shaped by you, I recommend this!
I’ve had L’élégance du hérisson for a while now and finally picked it up. From the first sentence I kept asking myself, Why did you wait so long?
Popping my head up in this space to say hello! It has been a busy few weeks around here and I spent most of them in the car driving the two teens and their friends to and fro. And then of course when my big helpers are gone it means I get all the attention from the little people so work came to a dead stop and instead, I played. We colored, played go fish, visited the park, went out for breakfast, covered the entry walk in sidewalk chalk, had a load of fun at the water park (a first for the two girls), read books, and told jokes. I unearthed the Poulette’s Calico Critters for the Magnolia and her little life may never be the same. I took the sheets off her bed this morning for washing and unearthed seven little critters. I think she’s a fan.
I’ve missed you friends!
Monday morning. Sunshine. The house is freezing because someone *cough* the Mister *cough* decided to knock the a/c way, way down last night.
I stayed up too late last night binge watching Peaky Blinders so I woke up to find the younger three playing Calico Critters together in the sunny spot of the living room. The older three are still asleep. I have this overwhelming urge to be out, in the sunshine so I think I’ll pop on a pair of flip flops with my pjs, grab my cup of tea, and head out to the porch to spend some time doing nothing. There is something special about a summer morning I feel called to enjoy. For once, I’ll take my advice and remember: Laundry can wait. School can wait.
Have a great week, loves!
I’m still in the throws of a Woolf binge. I read her biography, now her Selected Diaries, edited by Anne Olivier Bell. This condensed version of the full diaries is a treat.
What I loved most is the way Woolf comes across. Not as the aloof and snobbish authoress she been portrayed as but as a confiding and very modern woman and writer. Her diary entries are casual in tone, wholly un-crafted, and frankly, a bit gossipy. Read about T.S. Eliot coming to tea, her eager anticipation of word from E.M. Forster on her latest novel, her nervously awaiting reviews of her work, her ongoing frustrations with her live in cook, and her fears of Nazi invasion.
Woolf’s diary entries are fresh and fascinating because of the inclusion of small details—domestic details we might consider trivial—but it is just these type of details which add depth to the entries and provide a glimpse at the historical context of a life as it was being lived rather than an account after the fact.