Remember when I spent a year learning Finnish with my son? En voi kuvitella sauna ilman olutta. My shining moment--being able to recite that phrase.
Well, we don't have a trip planned to Japan, but what is life without learning? Through our public library there is a free online resource called Mango Languages. My son has done a full year of French through the program and has progressed nicely, so I decided to try their Japanese. The lessons are in short 10-minute bits and I'm enjoying the new sounds. I studied Japanese briefly many years ago from an old, wisened man named Goro Yamamoto, who was an instructor at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA where I lived. Mostly I just wanted to be with him because he was one of those compelling people filled with light. I like that I'm thinking of him more these days...
Permaculture is a contraction of two words--Permanent Agriculture. It's about creating a habitat that reflects the seasons and habits of nature as closely as possible. It's about creating a man-made system of farming or agriculture or even urban gardening that requires as little work from an intervening human as possible. I've been intrigued by growing edible foods for a very long time... Anyway! I'm currently reading my third book out of four that I checked out of the library on permaculture and am learning new things! Gaia's Garden is a terrible title, but maybe it's my favorite book so far. It's nice to tilt your head when you read something new and consider how much more there is to know.
I'm also in the middle of two books that I pick up every couple of days to encourage my spiritual journey. Reading about the lives of both Mother Gavrilia and Father Nicola Yanney has been inspiring. They lived lives of sacrifice for others--something that I'm aiming for in my growing-old age! I am 54, people!!! How can that be? I didn't know you could still do handstands in your 50's, but you can... Mother Gavrilia was a God-listener. She spent her days tending to others (working with lepers even), with little care for where she was living, how she might be fed, and having few possessions. She had a favorite tree that she liked to say hi to, which I appreciate, and she inspired a giant flock of people throughout her life. Father Nicola was an immigrant from Syria who traveled to Nebraska in the 1890's to escape the extreme struggles in his homeland. His life is worth reading about--here is a short documentary about him if you're interested.
Graphic novels? For the last ten years I've been reading hundreds of them in preparation for writing one myself, and so I could know as much as possible about the genre as I begin to edit and produce them through Ancient Faith Publishing. This last year all my reading and hoping paid off when we released our very first one--The Cross and the Stag. It was such a delight to work on with the author/illustrator Gabriel Wilson. He's a talented young artist. Anyway, I just finished a graphic novel based on the life of Proust that I didn't care for (at all), and then this one about Audubon, who is a fascinating artist, dreamer, adventurere worth knowing about... This version of his creative life is worth every turn of the page.
What else? Perelandra? I signed up for a book club with author Nicholas Kotar, but I keep falling asleep while reading. It's me. Clearly. Not the book.
Do you have any inspiring reads to share? Good middle grade? Memoir? Non fiction? There are so many books in the world--how do we go about choosing?!
Published: November 1, 2019 | Filed under: Books