“I like libraries. It makes me feel comfortable and secure to have walls of words, beautiful and wise, all around me. I always feel better when I can see that there is something to hold back the shadows.”
The public library in my hometown was among my favorite buildings to visit as a little girl. Leading up to its grand entryway were smooth steps from either sidewalk direction; I can still hear the soft tss-tss-tss of my little soles landing and sliding a smidge at each rise. The opposing sets of stairs met at a platform facing the enormous doors, and the imposing limestone edifice welcomed me into its world of literary delights like a stern grandfather with a playful heart.
When I was in my teens, it was razed in favor of a new structure a few blocks away. But the destroyers left standing the great limestone facade which still adorns that block forty-plus years since, now surrounded by rejuvenated green space.
An old friend once opined that leaving the fragment behind seemed silly to him. I could not see it more differently. To me, it is a brilliant gesture of admiration for an architectural exemplar of that era, as well as a connection to childhood. The sun is always shining in my memories of those library visits, and a glimpse of the gray face still warms the little girl in me.Continue reading
(Update: the attribution should be to Benjamin Brewster, not Yogi Berra.)
That thinker doesn’t look very comfortable.
Leaning back in a rocker — now that’s my preferred contemplation pose, knitting needles clacking or netbook keys tapping.
Thinking about thinking, writing about writing, posing quandaries, positing solutions.
That’s some of what i had in mind when i conceived of this site years ago, in particular with the Ruminations tab.
To me the term has always had an agreeable association with “a reflective thinker characterized by quiet contemplation” [Free Dictionary].
For obvious linguistic reasons, i recently wondered if there could be a relationship to the thirteenth century Persian poet Rumi. As fitting as that might be, the theory apparently has the lamentable disadvantage of not being rooted in fact.Continue reading
That’s it, end of quip.
I thought of it as i was considering what writing is like, and what this year has been like.
Writing is gazing back and forward at the same time.
The raw material of experience and imagination forms an idea…
In shaping that idea for an audience, i’m looking ahead toward how the past-birthed notion might connect with the reader.
Even if i am its only reader, my future self usually takes something fresh from rereadings of past private expressions.
Personal essay writers and bloggers perpetually distinguish between the “I” and the “we” to decide which of our thoughts to impart.
Two kinds of intimate writing i bristle at…
Starting too many sentences with the phrase (or attitude), “We all…”
Or starting too many sentences with “I” — if they end without drawing me in.
The question is, What makes any one person’s thoughts of interest to another?Continue reading
“A tedious argument of insidious intent…”
I recently saw this phrase used as a social media tagline — and it wasn’t a T.S. Eliot account. It struck me as a pleasing expression; i didn’t immediately recognize its origins.
I should have. I studied Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” in college, though that was admittedly more than a few years ago.
Looking up phrases online, mine and others, is something i make a habit of in order to properly attribute them or to make sure one i’m about to use is original.
Rather than assume its social media user had concocted this one herself, the online search for this snippet rewarded me with a reminder of Eliot’s stunning craft.Continue reading
It’s about how the end justifies the memes.
Ok, that’s not a serious answer — although it’s true that this blog does include the occasional meme.
Over the years, i’ve given a fair amount of thought to answering the query concisely — starting with concocting the tagline about reflections.
When i began blogging, i’d had little exposure to the blogosphere in general. I simply set out to write about what interests me, hoping to make it interesting to others.Continue reading