What a week this has been. I have had a quiet week messaging back and forth with photos, information and encouragement with my brother and sister as our mother died. It was peaceful and we are all comforted by the wonderful care she received. She would have turned 92 next month so she had a long life. We also caught up with many relatives I have not heard from in years and new, younger ones I did not know. Family deaths tend to do that. That has been lovely.
I spent much of the week reading, with Mr. Penguin, with friends and being comforted, almost too much, by our goofy dogs. They always know when something is going on. I’ve had more face washes this week.
The short story I drew in the Deal Me In Challenge (2 of Diamonds) was The Rainmaker from the Tibetan Folk Tales book. The timing of this story was lovely as it is quite a spiritual book of stories in the Buddhist tradition and was a gentle read. Zor is an orphan taken in by a monk for life training. The story told of their life in the cave, with their meals from herbs as rain falls around them. (comforting right?). The old monk is a wise Rainmaker and is able to control the clouds and the weather. At times he is called to the Dalai Lama’s palace to monitor the storms as to protect his beautiful garden. The story revolves around the lessons he teaches to Zor and how Zor copes with his own successes and failures as he inherits this responsibility once the old Lama dies. I enjoyed it immensely.
On the other hand, I began the book Lincoln in the Bardo as a Kindle read/audio. It is irritating me beyond belief and I’ll be lucky to finish it. I know, I know. Man Booker prize winner of 2017 and all that. I really should stay away from this prize. I heard a review about how wonderful all the voices were on the audio version. There are around 100 actors reading various parts of the ghosts. For those unfamiliar, it is a story of Abraham Lincoln and his young son Willy who died at a young age. Lincoln in his grief visits him at the cemetery and there are all of the ghosts who live there with their comments. Lots of flashbacks to Willy’s life.
Now, I am not an Arts person. Not overly creative or literaryly (is that a word?) astute. My talents are in numbers, technology and figuring out those puzzles of the boxes with all the lines and dots and what comes next. I am very left brained. I am only seeing mathematical structures in this book.
The structure of the book is composed of categories. First part in the cemetery- let’s think of as many personality types as possible and give them each a sentence to read. Next part, let’s include as many quotable quotes from every book written about or pertaining to Lincoln.
In describing young Willy, lets get as many people as we can remember names of and tell the reader- What a good boy he was. He really was a good boy. Was he a good boy? Yes , such a good boy.
To me, it is as though the author thought of a category and then looked it up on google to find as many entries in that category to include in the book.
So far the category of emotion (again, to me) is missing. I get no gut wrenching feeling that Lincoln lost his young son. I do not feel grief. I am finding the whole thing a bit too clever in its structure and completely lacking in character development. And I know, perhaps the author smirking because he is so clever. I only see categories as I read this and find myself wondering- what will the next category be? I will persevere but you probably won’t catch me writing much more about it. So if you loved this book, please don’t have a go at me. I have seen it described as brilliant, a masterpiece and many words in that category. I mean, The Man Booker Prize Winner for heaven’s sake!!!
On another lovely note…yesterday was a beautiful summer’s day and I took the dogs to the beach. We call it the Big Beach as it is bigger than the dog beach we normally go to. As it was a weekday, there was hardly anyone there. The airport runway ends at this beach at a 90 degree angle so the planes were going overhead in front of us as we walked.
One more thing- I thought I’d share this Australian native plant with you. Ptilotus Joey is the name of it. When my father died I set up a little fountain in his memory in the back yard. But the water attracted snakes so I filled it in and put in flowers. I thought I would plant this in my mom’s memory in a large pot next to the fountain. I had never seen this plant before but it was on our garden centre’s Instagram page and I love it so that may be my project for today.
I hope all of you had a good week. Let me know one thing you did this past week.