Friday, October 26, 2012

RevGals: the Reader's Edition

It's another Friday Five from RevGals!

You probably have, like me, a study full of books. Maybe they spill into another room. They go with you in the car to appointments when you might have some dead space in your schedule. In my study, the books are double-stacked and in somewhat precarious piles. I've always dreamed of a study that looked like this:

Recently I decided to re-organize my study and put books of like topic and purpose together. (Of course, they don't stay that way -- but that's another matter!) I also culled out some books which I hesitated to even donate to the library book sale because they were either extremely outdated or had content that I didn't want the unexamined mind to read. (Not quite as bad as "The Total Woman" but... you get my drift!)

SOooo... with that in mind, let's talk about the books in your life!

STUDYING: What is your favorite book or series for sermon prep or study? Or have you moved from books to on-line tools for your personal study?

Related to a talk I am giving next week, “Deep Down Things:  Listening for Story within the Sacred Heart,” I have been reading We Live Inside Story, by Megan McKenna.

2. IN THE QUEUE: Do you have a queue of books you are longing to read or do you read in bits and pieces over several books at a time? What's in the queue?

Hm… I like having a book going that I can pick up and put down easily—Poetry and Bill Bryson both nicely fill this need for me.  At the moment, I have Made in America, The Small Continent, and At Home in different stages…as well as a little Antonio Machado, Pablo Neruda, and Wislawa Szymborska.  But, I am also reading the latest Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes mystery and the Megan McKenna title from above.  Wise Man's Fear, by Patrick Rothfuss and As Always, Julia  by Julia Child/Avis DeVoto are waiting patiently on the shelf.

3. FAVORITE OF ALL TIME: What's one book that you have to have in your study? Is it professional, personal, fun or artistic? (For instance, I have a copy of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. It just helps sometimes.) 

One?!  May Sarton’s The Magnificent Spinster, a collection of Neruda, and my Bible that’s been around the world with me.

4. KINDLE OR PRINT? or both? Is there a trend in your recent purchases? 

Both.  Love them both for different reasons.  Print has the whole sensory/environment thing going for it, as well as inviting a more personal interaction.  E-reading is incredibly practical and exceedingly portable.

5. DISCARDS: I regularly cruise the "FREE BOOKS" rack at our local library. (I know, I know. It's a bad habit!) When's the last time you went through your books and gave some away (or threw some away?) Do you remember what made the discard pile?

I winnow when I move… the last move was a year and a half ago and wow did the local library sale shop make out like nobody’s business!  I try not to purchase fiction too often because I know I can check it out from the library and I am less likely to re-read it.  Poetry I will purchase…as well as other non-fiction books.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

With thanks to GMH

(With thanks to the influence of Gerard Manley Hopkins...)

Fall's Shooting Stars

I walked amidst a thousand stars
fallen from the trees…
wet with newborn wondrous being
while offering their triumphant
fiery falling whistle 
as a mosaic for my feet.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sensitivity to Touch

Here I am at the day's conclusion, watching the moon begin its cabaret song as the sun bows from the stage... and I am watching my hands as they type while I also reflect on the day.

These hands today have held an incredible kitchen knife and thrilled at the ease with which it dispatched a pile of chicken breasts destined to be skewered and barbecued for a fund-raiser.  I confess that a small part of the joy of volunteering was knowing that it was likely that I would get to feel the keen functionality of a finely cared for tool.  It does what it does well and confidently, with purpose, deftness, and sensitivity.  It was quite pleasing to work with it.

Today, these hands have given in to a desire that often comes to me when proclaiming the Word at liturgy...the desire to touch the text as I let it fill me and then offer it in voice.  This is a holy touch.  My fingers reverence the printed word as it rests on the page and I ask that if it be the will of God, I would like to take it within and proclaim it well, to breathe it so deeply that it might be be heard, seen, felt, and shared with others.

In the last several days, these hands have reached for the hand of a friend thousands of miles away and as near as both the beat of my heart and the glow of the computer screen.

With each touch there is an exchange...the hand respects the tool, the tool works for the hand; touch honors the Word, Word fills the senses; the touch of the heart is not daunted by distance, distance graciously contracts.

Such a sensitive and extraordinary gift...