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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Small Things

With the arrival of August, my thoughts shrink until they barely deserve to be called thoughts at all. I’m tired, and I can tell that by the intense crankiness that overcomes me when other drivers don’t signal their turns; on the other hand, small scenes make a big impression on me, and it doesn’t take much to capture my attention and hold it spellbound. I’m like Sarah when the moth landed on her paw--transfixed.

Sometimes when summer seems to be all green (or winter nothing but white), I pick a color and look for instances of it in my path. Here are some bright yellows in a parking lot: truck and painted lines, with reflection of the truck in a puddle. (Yes, we did have rain Friday evening.)

When my car wouldn’t start at the end of a long Saturday, and David returned to Northport to rescue me, we got a pizza and took it down by the harbor for fine dining by the waterside, where the reflection of an American flag on the surface of the bay took on successively fascinating shapes.

My favorite late summer wildflower, the little grey-headed coneflower, is just coming into its own, and a few of them (along with their purple relatives) begged to come to the gallery, promising they would not upstage the paintings. They don’t really, but I’m giving them the foreground here, just this once, in gratitude.

Beans. However negligent the gardener, beans succeed, magnificently reinforcing dreams and intentions. Here are some of my beans, both the verdant rows of plants and the picked vegetables for dinner.

One very small book containing one very big thought came to my attention via a Northport woman who wanted additional copies. Called THE GREAT SILENT GRANDMOTHER GATHERING, it is a 41-page hardcover book at paperback price ($10.95). The cover is bright and cheery, as is the story. Sharon Mehdi wrote it for her own granddaughter, though for a long time she kept insisting it wasn’t a “book” at all. “A story for anyone who thinks she can’t save the world,” says the dust jacket. Would you try to save the world for your grandchildren? Do you think it’s worth doing?


Anonymous said...

I just read one of your earlier entries where you mentioned The Book Thief and got all excited because that is one of my favorite books of all time. I found it crushingly, achingly beautiful. I hope you found time to finish it and enjoyed it.

P. J. Grath said...

Though I haven't yet mustered the energy to compose a long review of THE BOOK THIEF, I did finish the book, and I did love it. Recommending it to a friend over dinner, I was asked to rate is on the 1-10 scale and said, after some reflection, "At least nine and a half." My friend asked what other books I rated that highly, and (to be fair and choose from among contemporary novels rather than established classics), my answer was THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER AND CLAY, by Michael Chabon. Have you read that one, anonymous?