Gratitude Sunday: Time, Space, And Light

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.

Sunday Haiku
Rain brings salmon runs,
mushrooms fruiting from forest
floors: final harvest.

Sunday Musings
Time is a strange and elusive thing. Odd enough that sometimes it feels like the drag of an emergency brake on and other times it feels like time whips wildly through life like a ride on the Tilt-A-Whirl. Then we have to play clock games twice a year like we did last week.

I am rather a bookaholic, if you haven’t figured that out yet. I like both kinds, fiction and non-fiction. My work desk is surrounded by resource materials: dictionaries, thesauruses, foreign language dictionaries/translators, instruction manuals, inspirational books from Eleanor Roosevelt to Tasha Tudor to the Dalai Lama. People give me books they know I will love. If I stop at a thrift store, an antique store, Goodwill or Salvation Army, garage or estate sales, the local lending library’s book sale, as hard as I try not to, I have to look at the books. I almost always find one I have to own (I do try to resist these days), so much so that I have become surrounded by literal stalagmites of stacked books. There are times I wish I had the fortitude to read them and give them away, but I don’t have an eidetic memory and waiting for the local lending library to get it for me doesn’t always accommodate my needs.

I have several sturdy (important) used bookcases I’ve found over the years, but they are already full. The piling system was totally inefficient. The piles were so close together I had to dig through a pile to locate a title. Bookshelves provide that luxurious library feeling of every item available at your fingertips, easy to shelf read and locate. The piles had been growing toward the ceiling, becoming precarious, dusty and, I feared, a fire hazard. I began the search for a new (to me) bookcase, when, lo and behold.

I was given a nice big bookcase late last June. Because of my able-ness and needing help, it sat on its side in the middle of the living room for months (I’m not kidding) until the October weather brought the demand for access to the wall heater it was blocking. The hubster provided unsolicited assistance one cold day by putting it in the wrong place, which required remedial help from the son. The son’s assistance took a month of negotiating time and convenience on his part. I deferred to him as he is the working party in the household.

Communication was key. I, of course, being the queen, wanted to do it my way. I told the son what I wanted done and how I wanted it done. In most cases, he had input. The queen, who likes to learn new things, listened. In most cases, the son’s input saved steps and effort. The queen deigned to be persuaded to use the son’s step-saving approach. Well advised.

I have a five minute work window, the joys of pain in aging. Five minutes is five minutes. You put enough of those five minute work windows together, you can get the job done even if it takes a few days time. Time. That fluid friend.

How much time does it take to clean and fill 15 linear feet of bookshelf with books? I don’t know yet; I’m not done. I may never know; I might never be done. I might be forever filling 15 linear feet of bookshelf like some crazy Escher nightmare. I might give some books away. Duplicates are over-rated, as are the how-to books that explain how to fix stuff you can’t even buy anymore, let alone finding the parts to do the fixing.

We interrupt these thoughts on time to consider the dimensions of space and light. Random stalagmites transferred into neatly organized, easy to dust shelves means more open space around my desk. Height converted to width equals light. I am newly aware how much of my front window was being blocked by book piles. I like light, and I like the dark too. I like lights of all kinds. Space is good too; it allows for re-organizing and easier cleaning.

Which bring us to joy. The joy of ownership, of cleaning, of discovery, of abundance. It feels good when things are tidy after you clean, especially when you find things you’d been looking for. I had been looking for The Tao of Pooh (1982, philosophy). I knew I owned a copy, but the piles had grown too intimidating. It now lives in the resource and inspiration section on the top shelf of my properly located new bookshelf.

I’ve found many treasures. I have children’s books I bought when the son was in elementary school and the school would have fund-raisers with the help of Scholastic Books. I bought my favorites along with his. My copy of The Librarian from the Black Lagoon (1997, children’s fiction) and Click, Clack, Moo (2000, children’s fiction) also sit on the top shelf, along with the Skippy Jon Jones series (“do the voices, mama” – getting the Spanish-accented English for Skippy Jon just right was pretty funny as it was never quite right). I have a collection of craft and home repair books though I’m not particularly crafty or handy, and a handful of school primers from the 1920s, 30s, and 40s; I doubt most college graduates could pass the old eighth grade test in the backs of these primers. I have a short shelf of home economy and home health care from the 1900s through the 1940s; hot water and soap remedied many things. Mom found me a classic set of leather bound, illustrated Shakespeare. Good thing I am a Shakespeare fan; she knew that. I have a handful of beautiful hardbound woodworking books I bought for my brother who owns all the tools and has done most of the re-finishing in his home by hand. I hesitate to give them to him because he is picky, maybe even more than me.

I have my childhood Bobbsey Twins books, and a partial set of the original Nancy Drew series from my teen years. How badly I wanted the freedom of my own car like Nancy while I was still in high school! All my high school yearbooks sit next to my younger brother’s, covering almost 10 years of late 1960s and early 1970s history for our high school.

Then there’s the cookbooks. I thought I put new cookbooks on the cookbook bookshelf when I brought them into the house. Evidently not, as I keep finding cookbooks in the piles. Maybe I put them in the piles to be used as gifts. I may have to ignore the new Christmas rule in our family, which is gifts for under-18-year-olds only. Everybody eats. There is no room on my cookbook bookshelf so I may have to designate a temporary cookbook shelf until I gift them. I like trying old recipes from history, though I’m not the best cook; I’ve enjoyed my share of failures.

I love picture books as well. Art, architecture, animals, travel, gardening, home interiors, landscapes, antiques, space and science, lions and tigers and bears, Oh, My! So many books to entertain on a gray and rainy day. No, wait! There’s so much light now I might not be able to read. I’m known as ‘the mole’, not because I am a spy, but because I prefer to read in dim light.

If time and space equals light it also equals joy. Finding the joy in each moment, even if it’s tackling an overwhelming project five minutes at a time. Even if it’s finding so much dust you think you’re going to choke and wonder why you didn’t think of wearing a dust mask. Even if it’s forgetting to eat because you are focused on getting one thing done (yeah, right, remember, five minute windows). Even if it’s washing up after each five minute work window because who knows what virus lurks in the dusty creases of a book. Even if it’s having selective hearing when the hubster starts mansplaining and not helping. Even if it’s finding the one book you’ve been looking for, and the one book you’d forgotten about, and the one book you didn’t remember at all.

Now that’s some fancy math this time. I have way more than three books.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – Hardy Oregon roses – until the first hard frost – in yellow-pink and red. Red-orange and brown rose hips, from flower to fruit. It’s that creamy fruitful fungal time of year – not recommended for eating. I love solid random branches and the green and yellow filtered light underneath.

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} The Thomas Crown Affair (1968, rated R), the original, with bad boy Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway. Bank heist, romance, trendy clothes, ahh, the 60s. * Split (2016, rated PG – 13) addresses mental health issues with crime: the damage of child sexual abuse and the rare Dissociative Identity Disorder, formerly called Multiple Personality Disorder. This psychological thriller is not for the faint-hearted; it involves kidnapping, being held against your will, and a disturbing finale. Wow. * Arrival (2016, rated PG – 13) with Amy Adams. Finally, an alien invasion sci-fi movie that is not filled with killing off the aliens. Adams plays a language specialist and communication is the key. No battle scenes, communication is established, and the woman saves the day. Recommended. * The Thomas Crown Affair (1999, rated R), the remake, with Pierce Brosnan and Renee Russo. Faye Dunaway has a cameo role. The plot and story didn’t improve much with the update, which sometimes followed the original word for word. Art heist, romance, trendy clothes and cars, ahh, the 90s. Though I like McQueen and Brosnan, just meh, on both.

Currently Reading – How lucky I am this week to be reading two favorite Portland authors, both of whom I have a total author crush on. * The Child Finder (2017, fiction) by Rene Denfeld. Ms Denfeld has magic in her fingers and poetry in her words. She has earned a place on my favorite authors list. Her protagonist in this story is a woman who searches for missing children professionally, and experiences her own recall and growth. No spoilers. Must read. Enchanting. It’s the first novel in a long time that I couldn’t wait to read immediately all over again. Her first novel, The Enchanted, was just as fascinating. I’m inspired to read her non-fiction. * The Misfit’s Manifesto (2017, social psychology) by Lidia Yuknavitch, based on her TED talk, The Beauty of Being a Misfit, worth watching as well. Ms Yuknavitch has a way, whether it is her fiction, non-fiction, or speaking to a classroom full of other writers and survivors, of uplifting and making a reader feel like all the weird and awful stuff that happens in our lives is actually survivable and non-guilt-worthy. She knows of what she speaks.

Quote of the Week
For the time being
Words scatter…
Are they fallen leaves?
From A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

This week I have been grateful for:

  • Nearly immediate access to information via internet or phone.
  • Sources that I am comfortable trusting.
  • House peeking. I can’t call it shopping, because I’m not in the market, but I indulge in looking at real estate that is on the market. Guilty pleasure.
  • Critiquing architecture, remodels, and room staging. Guilty pleasure. Especially entertaining because my personal style is modern clutter with a little early junque influence.
  • Getting some furniture moved with the help of the son. Clean-up in process. Major win.
  • Tons of cleaning materials at my disposal.
  • Getting some cleaning done that looks like I did something different.
  • A few cleaner open spaces.
  • Ibuprofen and microwave heat packs.
  • Having another safe journey on the hunting/gathering trip and finding a couple new edibles to try.
  • Having my window lights on a remote control, and knowing where the remote is.
  • All the men and women who served in military service for the United States of America. I have several family members who served.
  • Making one of those rustic root vegetables and smoked sausage bakes that everybody ate.
  • Some California strawberries that actually tasted like strawberries.
  • Water.
  • Hoping you have a lovely week.

    Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

    Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

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    One Response to Gratitude Sunday: Time, Space, And Light

    1. piratesorka says:

      Ahhh you were truly meant to be a writer, a wordsmith and a librarian. You manage to hang on to your books while I often give or gift them away. I have sold some too. We have very differnt tastes in books too. I can hardly bring it upon myself to read books that are sad/depressing. I generally run screaming away from any hardluck stories. Psychological thrillers send me off to Boredomville or give me the heebie jeebies. Not meant to be lighthearted at all.. I look for a good story cleverly told and its all the better if there is a sense of humor laced throughout. Give me the Fantasies like my beloved Hobbit or Lord of the Rings,. Many times I have spent in the land of Valdemar or the planet of Pern. Or maybe the small world of Redwall. But if it turns to grim stuff I am out of there. By the same token it has to be a rare and well done romantic piece to get my attention. Nothing weepy!! Make me laugh. I had people once rave at me about what a great read The Bridges of Madison County … I lliterally found myself bored and outraged and so I threw it into the ocean, only to go into the ocean and pull it back out on a incomiing wave. THEN I tossed it into a trashcan! Yes, I am guilty of Book Murder! My favorite reads are short stories, with good bits of this and that. I can dive into those and get lost for a wee while then be off to another one. Of course I do read Theology but thats work and not pleasure.

      Liked by 1 person

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