Books, libraries, reading, and a what if…

Today marks the beginning of Banned Books Week and so I happened upon this little video that Bill Moyers made to honour this…

I agree with Bill. I wonder how many of us would be as whole as we are without books in our lives. Right now I am in a place where I can afford to buy some books. It’s wonderful!

But I still need the library. I grew up in libraries. I grew up feasting on books.

Now libraries open doors in other ways than books. We borrow DVDs, music CDs, audio books (wonderful for long trips!) and let me not forget TOYS! Whoot! When my children were small I borrowed toys regularly as well as books to read to them. All of us would be poorer without libraries and the bounty they lend to us.

But libraries do more than lend out magic. They host story telling times, events, workshops and clubs.

I’ve gone to those story tellings.

I’ve studied writing with Welwyn Wilton Katz.

I’ve volunteered in literacy programs.

Which leads me to my point (and I do have one)…the Library belongs to all of us. And we need to let our municipal politicians know that we — not some board or council — are the owners. They are just human beings; they will make mistakes.

Locally that would be the error of closing our only library (aside from a few specialty libraries devoted to small interest groups) on Mondays. What wrong headed thinking!

In our little corner of the world the library and the art gallery (the Tom Thompson) are attached which I feel is an excellent idea, a great match, a marriage made in heaven. They are both necessary as places where people learn to think, to imagine, to create, to expand their horizons, to grow. All necessary traits in a good citizen.

So, it would follow, if you follow my thread, that both of these edifices should fling their doors open EVERY day of the week…even if you must train more volunteers to do the “grunt” work (and here I believe Unions need to get on board). If citizens want this enough, they will step up and make it happen. Libraries are a human right … if you want creative thinkers, critical thinkers, thinkers period.

Are you with me?

Oh and while you’re at it…read a banned book! There’s a million of them. Here’s some I’ve read WITH my children…

Where Did I Come From? Cover

The Giver Cover

A Wrinkle in Time  Cover

And one of the all time best banned books… In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak

Wonderful Banned Books Week display at Porter Square Bookstore, 2012

Nickel and Dimes-10TH Anniversary Edition (11 Edition) Cover

They are some of the best reading in town … with the greatest ideas!

Blossom Women’s Circles

This week our young women will be being introduced to making their own journals. First we’ll be creating paperbag journals from LCBO wine bottle bags, which I’ve already gessoed.

But I’ve been preparing this cover for a while now. It will hold all my Spirit paintings and Dot paintings from this summer. I’m going to keep the paintings secret for a while, but thought this steamy, hot summer day was ideal to share just the cover…

Pondering an old red sweater …

Right now I am reading “No Ordinary Time” by Jan Phillips. Well, to be truthful I am not so much reading … as practicing this book. There are ideas, concepts, constructs, words, sentences, musings on every single page that I want to commit to memory, imbue into my cellular structure. This, found on page 195, speaks so intimately to my sense of “At Loose Ends” that I must share it…

Your words and thoughts

are your yarn and knitting needles.

Your life is the afghan, the mittens, the scarf.

If you work with wool and cotton threads

You will never end up with a cashmere sweater.

At first glance our socially constructed dichotomies will cause us to judge wool and cotton threads as “less than” cashmere.

But stop and think for a minute…

Do we all need, want, struggle to attain, desire, feel comfortable in and with a cashmere sweater?

Mostly I like to wrap myself in an over sized wool sweater while I snuggle into the sofa with a good book and a canine companion.

I still have an old red, acrylic sweater that I rescued from the cloImageset of my mother after her death. For years I fondled the hankie left in one of the pockets and was comforted by the scent of Noxema. It quite literally WAS my mother in those letting go times. Now the scent is gone, but still the sweater is pulled from the closet to be worn when I need to let go of feeling like a “motherless child” and yet still feel childlike and cared for and safe.

My mother and I were/are both knitters. Wool is my choice; acrylic hers. We are so different, so alike…a knitted sweater so familiar an object as to be taken for granted (like a mother perhaps) until it becomes necessary. How wonderful to have these lines to bring to recall so much. To feed my soul with the ordinary, the mundane, the trivial…that makes up so much of a rich, full life.

And so this short five lines gives me material to meditate on for years…

Thanks, Jan.

Saying no?

Jamie Ridler posts her usual prompt for Wishcasting Wednesday.

“What do you wish to say no to?” My head reels with the long list. Which do i pronounce? Can i actually say no? So i visit others’ sites. Yes, this wishcasting is done in community…a construct that is pivotal to who i am and how i define my long and varied career choices. They all add up to community building, which i now prefer to call, creating my own tribe.

Today is also “Facebook Reads Day” and I have just lately said yes to my burning need to read. Writers not only write, they read…voraciously!

I am spurred to share a quote from Beth Powning‘s book, Shadow Child which i just began to read last night…”…I abandon it. I don’t understand the degree to which I will regret this decision later, or the way in which this feeling of acquiescence, which I think is agreement, becomes familiar and a pattern that’s hard to break. I know that there’s a warped feeling left, once I’ve made the decision to abandon my plan. I’m like a child who knew she shouldn’t let go of her balloon string, but thought it was the right thing to do.”

Ah, yes…all the nos i should be saying “talk to the hand” to can be summed up in that one small group of words…I will say no to acquiescence and believing it to be agreement. I will focus on saying yes only when i have weighed it against my values, my gut instincts, my heart. I will say no more often then, but i will say it slowly and with careful measure. I can then also say no to regret. Nuff said.

I will say yes to nasturtiums and apricot jam.

I will say yes to pears and peaches in season.

I will say yes to the comforts of curling up under an old quilt in front of the fire immersed in a great book/read (because some of those reads are on my Kindle).

I will say yes to the me that goes barefoot, communes with nature and hikes the trails. Yes! Come October.

All photocredits to me but the art is definitely the bold loveliness of Meg’s cards.  See Tangerine Meg for much more!