I just finished reading a book called, Circling the Sun, by Paula McLain, a powerfully written novel about Beryl Markham, a woman brought up wild in Kenya, Africa. If you loved Out of Africa, this unconventional story is for you.
Beryl was involved with Deny’s Finch Hatton and hungered for his love for most of her adult life. She endured societal scandals as well, swept up in a love triangle between him and the writer and Baroness Karen Blixen who also loved him deeply.
What stays with me was Beryl’s fearlessness, a pioneer in her own right. She was one of the first women racehorse trainers,
“We read to know we’re not alone.” C.S. Lewis
There’s nothing like a good book to keep us company. And nothing more intimate and graceful, the experience between the storyteller and the listener. The writer writes, the reader reads. The bond is cemented. This silent exchange requires nothing of the reader but their time and attention for the length they are willing to give the book.
I have spent many a fine hour lost in a good book. Here is a list of my book faves, in hopes they will become yours too. They are not in any particular order.
- A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
- My Antonia, Willa Cather
- A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini
- Circling the Sun, Pam McLain
- The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion
- Out of Africa, Isak Denesen
- The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah
- The Invention of Wings, Sue Monk Kidd
- The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
- Love Warrior, Glennon Melton
- The Distance Between Us, Reyna Grande
- Of Human Bondage, W. Somerset Maugham
- To Be The Poet, Maxine Hong Kingston
- Portrait Of An Artist, Laurie Lisle
- Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now, Maya Angelou
- All Creatures Great and Small, James Herriot
More to come…
Since my father passed away, I have been looking to art and beauty in the everyday. When he was alive, there wasn’t a hummingbird, a great oak tree, a good history book, a classical piece of music, or an oil painting of the beautiful English countryside that he didn’t take close notice, appreciate, and share with me. There wasn’t a day he didn’t notice Nature’s bounty and beauty, or a brilliant work of art.
As I carry him with me, I am reminded with every death, there is rebirth. For every person who dies, a baby is born. For every inhale, there is an exhale. I, of course, have intellectualized these truths, but not until I experienced my father’s passing, did I know what rebirth felt like to die to the past and weave a new life for myself.
In the book, The Second Half Life: Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdom, anthropologist and author, Angeles Arrien states, “We are all born with a great dream for our lives. A dream that may have been derailed along the way by family and career responsibilities or submerged by our own choices. In the second half of life, after your roots have gone deeply into the world, it is time to resurrect this dream.”
As a writer and insight practitioner, I look to art and beauty for inspiration. A lover of silence and creativity, the two go hand in hand, to provide the Inner Peace I value as much as the breath. Every morning, I walk my dog, then sit down to write, read and wonder about the mysteries of life all around me. Continue reading Look to Art and Beauty