What am I reading?
Just finished are Canoe Country and the latest issue of Garden & Gun. Canoe Country is a delightful travelogue written in 1933 about canoeing trip in northwest Minnesota. Garden & Gun “full of experiences and sights and sounds that engages not only those living or intrigued by that lifestyle but also by those who appreciate the art and culture of the South.” The caliber of the writing is superb.
Now I am reading Letters from Side Lake, We Interrupt this Broadcast, The Language of Life, and Poetry Speaks.
Letters from Side Lake by Peter Lesechak is a chronicle of life in the watery North Woods of Minnesota. Florida wetlands, tropical forests, and especially its beaches and reefs are my element as evidenced in my photographs, art and prose, and yet as you can tell a part of me is drawn to the nature that is so foreign to my home. There is something that captures and enchants about an upstate New York blizzard or sheer ruggedness of the Adirondacks, or the majestic wilderness of Minnesota.
The Language of Life and Poetry Speaks are both poetry anthologies. They both have brief biographies of each poet and samples of their poems. The first also contains a series of revealing dialogs between Bill Moyers and each of the poets. The second actually comes with a set of CDs so one may not only read the poem but hear it spoken.
We Interrupt this Broadcast is a book that capsulizes dramatic events so urgent that they interrupted regularly scheduled radio or television broadcasting and also is accompanied by CDs.
Taster and Dabbler
I am a dabbler. There I've said it – but you are frowning for this society this culture does not approve of dabblers! You should complete what you start!
Have a plan an outline, a schedule, milestones sit down carry through perfect polish and complete on time!
One facet to this dabbler that personifies me is Reading. The past me was a collector of books though I try to restrain that addiction now that I am on a limited income, but yet I must admit walls with in my adobe are lined with cases and some of shelves are even two or three deep with journals, magazines, and books and in boxes in storage are even more books. Often I will be reading 4 or 5 at the same time as a taster might sample various wines to find which is most pleasing to the pallet in that instance. I taste the stances dive between the paragraphs and relish each word.
I am also not an artist or a poet or at least not one of note. I am more the dabbler the experimenter testing the waters and what flows from the pen whether blog, prose, drawing, photograph or collage is a growing culmination and more often than not, not what I envisioned when first I sat down. Instead it seems to have taken on a life of its own. That why in my adobe you will find scraps of unfinished prose and partially completed drawings.
Will I ever finish them? I doubt it! The poet Stanley Kunitz, when asked if he ever changed a poem he wrote long ago, said “There are a few old poems I’ve tinkered with correcting a word here or a phrase there that was obliviously wrong, but I think it’s foolhardy to attempt radical revisions of early work. You are no longer the poet who wrote those lines in his troubled youth. Time itself is stitched into the fabric of text.”
Or maybe they too are finished and I just do not recognize it. Instead may be the unfinished space is actually part of the composition. It allows the eye to see what is not there and the ear to hear what is not spoken and the mind to imagine.
Philosopher Eckhart Tolle writes “Whenever there is some silence around you — listen to it. Pay attention to the gap — the gap between two thoughts, the brief, silent space between words in a conversation, between the notes of a piano or flute, or the gap between the in-breath and out-breath. When you pay attention to those gaps, awareness of "something" becomes — just awareness. The formless dimension of pure consciousness arises from within you and replaces identification with form.”