Another amazing installment in Moore's lifelong quest towards avodacting the mysterious and unfathomable depths of the human soul and how it can possiAnother amazing installment in Moore's lifelong quest towards avodacting the mysterious and unfathomable depths of the human soul and how it can possible amalgamate to another equally enigmatic human soul. Moore confronts moralism in sexuality as well as pondering the needs of soul - in that it often wants detachment just as much as attachment, coldness as well as passion. Though I consider myself a lover of soul and proponent of the soul's journey, Moore never ceases to press further into the process and combats the arid analysis of relationships and the "lets fix it" mentality through practical means, and encourages relationships to delve into every aspect of the relationship - even the vices - in an effort to hear what the soul of your being has to say. Always challenging, never simple, forever entrenched in the mythology of Jungian and Grecian archetypes, I find Moore more and more (hah) offering me a truth older and safer than I know...
If I had to sum up a few Moorian tenants: 1. Be a friend to yourself. 2. Do not repress even the slightest inkling/desire inside of you (he does not encourage acting upon every inkling but facing all the parts of yourself, the shadows as well as the sunlight, in an effort to let the soul be heard). ...more
I read this after a direct recommendation from a friend, which I rarely do because I rarely share people's taste in modern fiction.Oh Annie. Oh Annie.
I read this after a direct recommendation from a friend, which I rarely do because I rarely share people's taste in modern fiction.
I find it interesting that in almost all of my reviews of Dillard's works, they begin with "this was not what i was expecting, but once I adjusted to the reality of the book, was able to find it very moving." And in Dillard's ever-changing talent and poetic pace, I find intrigue and admiration. I will pick up anything she writes from now on.
That being said, The Maytrees wasn't what I was expecting. I think once I adjusted to Dillard's poetic randomness, I found beauty in the speed bumps she throws in the path of word choice and plot disjointedness. The plot, which is really the first thing I cling to upon the initial read of a book, was a bit hazy and unclear (think Marquez), but once it emerged, the thematic treatment of human connection, age, art, and nature was true to every corner of Dillard's talent I have come to love and explore.
I still enjoyed Pilgrim at Tinker Creek better, but The Maytrees was a quick, moving, important, and gorgeous read....more
I seriously want to buy this book for every single introvert I know. After that, I want to buy this book for every single extrovert I know.
Truth is, tI seriously want to buy this book for every single introvert I know. After that, I want to buy this book for every single extrovert I know.
Truth is, this book has treated a topic that is seriously underrated and has been the source of my anxiety for many, many years.
There are so many interesting facts/statistics that Dr. Laney throws into this book. For instance: Introverts are outnumbered 3:1 in this world. Introverts live longer than Extroverts. Introversion has been directly linked to intelligence. Introverts loose their words more easily, dislike eye-contact, and shirk when required to engage in "small talk." Introverts require environments where they can control their stimulation levels (noise, color, people) and can become irritable and moody when overstimulated. Introverts are not usually shy and do not lack social skills. Introversion is not a pathology to overcome (Freud), but instead a personality trait (Jung), and is the reason Freud/Jung went their separate ways. Introverts can only recharge by decreasing their stimulation and through tranquil, nonsocial solitude. Introverts often live under immense anxiety because they and their world expect them to act like extroverts (spontaneous, outgoing, gregarious), and when they can't, they shame themselves and create immense internal angst. Introverts "chew" on things longer than extroverts, so what seems like obsession to an extrovert is actually the natural internal dialogue of an introvert. Introverts need to express themselves more than they do; repression is their natural bent and a dangerous one. Introverts are almost incapable of spontaneity. There are two kinds of introverts; left-brained and right-brained. The right-brained introvert can often mistake himself for an extrovert. Introverts have less children. Introverts have higher metabolisms because their life takes much more energy and therefore are prone to hypoglycemia and need to eat every few hours.
...just to name a few...
In realizing that many of my problems with anxiety and depression have come from my shamefaced introvert trying to act as if she were an extrovert, I have found much release and understanding of myself.
There are a few chapters that are very self-help focused to the introvert (how to meet people, dating, etc), but in her more soulful, philosophical chapters, there are so many gems of advise and understanding. As I read these, I saw the knot in my belly finally begin to unwind after 15 years of clenching. The chapter "Nurture your Nature," was particularly helpful.
I borrowed this book from my local library, but will be buying it as soon as I find a cheap, used copy (and this is where I plug used books...down with corporate booksellers!).
The book also has tests for introversion if you are unaware of your specific bent, and if you have any suspicion or hunch that you, your spouse, your friend, or your child is introverted, this book will seriously enlighten those relationships. ...more
Dillard has been the surprise of my year. I was once introduced to her by a bartender I worked with but because I think he was more inI have finished.
Dillard has been the surprise of my year. I was once introduced to her by a bartender I worked with but because I think he was more interested in having a threesome than talking about spirituality, I cast him into the fires of hell - right along with Dillard. Now that I am a bit more, ahem, mature I realize my heinous and capricious act. When Dillard made her gracious way back into my life via a very dear friend, Mrs. Jillian.
Dillard has brought me into a world that I would never have known, not being the woodwose many around me are. Into this world I have entered and left with thanks for hosting such a great party. She gave me chills, she gave me comfort, she gave me fodder for thought, she gave me answers I needed.
The last paragraphs are lingering in my mouth like a buttery truffle...I twist and turn my tongue all around to catch every last morsel.
To have read this specific book just as I was stumbling upon the inevitability of my own death was nothing short of a godsend. She approaches life, death, fecundity, nature just as they are and i find this matter-of-fact point of view refreshing. She never over spiritualizes or stands to be didactic, but simply observes. She takes us in her pocket and we get to observe with her. We observe trees, bees, muskrats, creeks, mountains, air...and find within all a deep and lasting comfort in their instinct and stability and learn lessons of mortality, perseverance, and fecundity.
My favorite chapters are 2: Seeing, 6: The present, 10: Fecundity, and 15: The Waters of Separation.
In chapter 10: Fecundity: "What I have been after all along is not an explanation but a picture. My rage and shock at the pain and death of individuals of my kind is the old, old mystery, as old as man, but forever fresh and completely unanswerable. My reservations about the fecundity and waste of life among other creatures is, however, mere squeamishness. It is true that many of the creatures live and die abominably, but I am not called upon to pass judgment. Nor am I called upon to live in that same way, those creatures who are mercifully unconscious" (179).
In chapter 13: The Horns of the Altar: "I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wandering awed about on a splintered wreck I've come to care for, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty beats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them, under the wind-rent clouds, upstream and down" (242).
And last, in chapter 13: The Waters of Separation: "You see creatures die, and you know you will die. And one day it occurs to you that you must not need life. Obviously. And then you're gone. I think that dying pray at the last not "please," but "thank you," as a guest thanks his host at the door...Divinity is not playful. The universe was not made in jest but in solemn incomprehensible earnest. By a power that is unfathomably secret, and holy, and fleet. There is nothing to be done about it, but ignore it or see. And then you walk fearlessly, eating what you must, growing wherever you can, like the monk on the road who knows precisely how vulnerable he is, who takes no comfort among death-forgetting men, and who carries his vision of vastness and might around in his tunic like a live coal which neither burns or warms him, but with which he will not part" (270).
The imagery of saying thank you when I leave has given me unspeakable comfort.
I am in awe of Annie.
UPDATE as of Nov 18, Now that I have adjusted to the pace/plot of this novel - I am enjoying it emmensely. The second chapter entitled Seeing has already moved me immensely. Reading this is like walking through the woods...
more later, crm
I am one chapter in and feel disoriented by the change of scenery from the normal books I read. First of all, this is nonfiction (and I didn't know that going into it) - and no one prepared me for her musings as she wanders the forests and mountains of Virginia. I feel immediate frustration for the genre because I wasn't expecting it and I am already neck-deep in Plath's Journals - feeling overwhelmed by two women's thoughts flooding into my already crowded stream-of-consciousness.
However, I checked this out from the library - which I almost never do with books (wanting to own what has endured a portion of my life with me), so I think I have decided to give it one good month - until it's due back.
I think this is a book I could really love, but love only if I can manage to let go of what I usually enjoy/need out of literature...allow myself to skim, enjoy her ramblings, be inspired by nature's place in philosophy (which reminds me of Thoreau or Whitman) and just sit back and let it be. Do I have the power to do this?
Only time will tell. I'll keep you posted. ...more
OMG, I am finally done with this book!!! I really enjoyed most of it, but was able to put it away for large chunks of time and not really care - whichOMG, I am finally done with this book!!! I really enjoyed most of it, but was able to put it away for large chunks of time and not really care - which shouldn't happen in fantasy. I am toying with picking up the second book, but not for a while.
Also, I just finished the last hundred pages of the book, and I have NO idea what I read - it was a bit confusing...
Other than that, a totally well-written read, great use of vocabulary, interesting & eccentric character development, and imaginative setting.
Off to read something a smidge more important... :)...more
started last night, half way through due to a sick day. poor throat, happy imagination. have to get back!
well, i finished this book. i am amazed by astarted last night, half way through due to a sick day. poor throat, happy imagination. have to get back!
well, i finished this book. i am amazed by a couple of things - first, that she wrote this way back in 1962! It's really quite beautiful, creative, and intriguing.
Admittedly, and oh so predictably, I more enjoyed the internal journey of Meg towards overcoming her self-hatred and learning to fully accept her faults and see them as assets. Once the imaginative, inter-planetary travel started, I found myself less interested - though still very very curious and captivated. I can't believe I didn't read this as a kid! I will be getting her other books in the series to escort me through my summer.
I think there should be a separate star system for raiting children's fiction b/c it's just on it's own scale.
I stole this (and two.5 chocolate cookieI think there should be a separate star system for raiting children's fiction b/c it's just on it's own scale.
I stole this (and two.5 chocolate cookies) from Kelly's shelf last night and read it. It's so amazingly imaginative! I love reading books that my dear friends loved as children; just tapping into their child-selves feels so endearing.
So if anyone wants to tap into my child-self...read Shakespeare. j/k. I don't remember my child-self, but when I feel in love with reading - it would be my pre-teens...so you would have to read Judy Blume's "Starring Sally J. Freeman as herself."...more
What has currently been sticking with me as I seek to understand the mysterious turns life brings, specifically in finding a life work that brings meaWhat has currently been sticking with me as I seek to understand the mysterious turns life brings, specifically in finding a life work that brings meaning.
"It may take some magic to find the work that heals you and makes you feel alive. If you are not grafted onto your nature and to the source of your life, you may be doing work that is dry and infertile. You don't feel good doing it because it isn't part of the system that includes all three parts: you, nature, and work. It is cut off and doesn't have the juice that soul would give it.
To be grafted to soul means to be open to the life that pools deep inside you, allowing it to coalesce into a career or other kind of work. Your choice of work flows from who you are - from your interests, tastes, hopes, and values. As you work, you feel that you are doing something consonant with your nature. You aren't working against yourself, not contradicting the person you are.
Here is my starting poing for looking for a life work: Step out of the frenzied persuit of the right job, look around at the whole of your life, and connect with the source of your vitality. If you begin with who you are and with the current of life you feel inside you, you will be grounded as you search and experiment. Your quest will be like a spring flowing from the font of your very nature, rather than a maddening search for a suitable occupation or position."
One of my dearest friends bought me this book as a gift. It is a first edition of Sylvia Plath's children's books. It was so well-written and surprisiOne of my dearest friends bought me this book as a gift. It is a first edition of Sylvia Plath's children's books. It was so well-written and surprising. I often mistakenly make the very error Plath was seeking to correct in that I put her in a box of darkness. She was such a multi-faceted woman, full of whimsy and genius. I feel she and I will become very good friends....more
I had read CB's last novel in college, but didn't remember much of how I enjoyed it. Though I do claim Jane Eyre as one of my favorite novels of all tI had read CB's last novel in college, but didn't remember much of how I enjoyed it. Though I do claim Jane Eyre as one of my favorite novels of all time (it boasts a more engrossing plot line, to say the least), Villette is like reading a sequel into Jane's life - as I find Lucy Snow to be much the same character. Though sensational and spiritual in nature, I keep coming back to CB's writing due to her mastery of language and in-depth understanding of human nuances and foibles, which she bestows in amplitude upon her characters. Reading her descriptions of people and their actions reminds me of a psychological text-book. Her exploration of the human psyche is spot on. I also greatly enjoy the writing of the banter between her unlikely hero and heroine; if a man and woman are teasing each other much to the point of offense and rudeness, they are most likely going to end up married by the end of the novel. For me, Villette is an escape into one of my favorite periods of history, into a time where language was paramount to the success of an author. ...more