Station Eleven

Reading this book was forgetting where you were sitting reading it.  Everything dropped away.

It was an official book selection for a local library’s One Book, One Town.  That’s how I found it.

This is a reminder of how we are all connected and don’t remind it.  This is a reminder of how fragile society can be, yet rebuild at the same time if given the will of people to survive.

 

Advertisements

Two Suns Rising

This book opens with a quote by Rumi.  Rumi has come to be my favorite poet and philosopher after Abraham Joshua Heschel.

Rumi writes that “today is your day”.

Today is always your day and you just need to recognize that.

The author, Jonathan Star, whoever this is, puts together a compilation of sacred writings with regards to love and higher power throughout the world.  Reading this, I wish I had read it earlier yet realize I read this at the right time in my life.

I wish I had had this for some of my undergraduate classes.  The writing is pure and down-to-earth at the same time.  One can feel the power put through the words shared.

All About the Quetzal

The book is by the late journalist and author Jonathan Evan Maslow and it is titled Bird of Life, Bird of Death.

Mr. Maslow documents his travels for a month through Guatemala during the 1980’s.  I’m surprised I haven’t heard more about this book as Mr. Maslow talks about Guatemala’s past, present up to the 1980’s, and history as well and how all of these relate to the quetzal.

I’ve seen pictures of the quetzal and the quetzal is endangered.  They are beautiful birds and symbols of Guatemala’s past and a symbol for freedom because they cannot live in captivity.  Guatemala also has a very fascinating past as a country.

This book can be for a variety of people and interests.

Hidden Figures

This book is written by Margot Lee Shetterly.

Ms. Shetterly writes a book not only about women but local and national history combined together: how if it weren’t for the geography and history the women she writes about in the book may have never landed where they landed.  Ms. Shetterly writes about four women and their journeys as “human computers” for both NASA’s predecessor and then NASA itself.

All four women had to overcome racial and sexist bias as well as their own personal struggles.  The woman who computed John Glenn’s orbit was referred to as “the girl”.  Her name is Dorothy Vaughn and she helped to keep him alive.

Their strength and determination comes through in the pages and they serve as role models for all young women and women reading their biographies.

This book also gives a lot of “hidden” and unknown US history for those interested,

 

Pot by the Road (A Client Story)

I saw the pot on the side of the road.  Just sitting, all alone.  It looked as if someone had taken it out of a car and forgotten it.  It was March, too early for leaves or flowers if there were to be any on its’ branches.

I was back a few days later.  That pot was still sitting there.  I drove over and swung the car around so my passenger side door was next to it, parked, got out, opened the passenger door and tossed the pot it.  I drove home carefully that day, trying not to knock it around.

When I got home I found a shovel and planted the plant in there.  A few weeks later pretty dark pink blossoms appeared.  In the two years since, it gives me the same blossoms each spring for a few days.

Those blossoms remind me of the client I was seeing when I found that pot.

The client was a third party referral and third party payer, something I appreciate because I know once the contract is signed and then I turn in my hours, I get paid.  Yet by the end this one brought more of a story than I was expecting.

My client lived in a condo complex off of a main artery that had a gated parking lot.  They didn’t drive so they didn’t have the pass code to the gate.  No problem, I waited for someone to come in and park in the unmarked spots.  No one bothered me until one day a man started following me from the building to my car and was threatening to call the police.  I thought it was because of the gate but I quickly realized he thought I was pimping.

I had the municipality’s non-emergency police dispatch number in my phone less than five minutes after I was home that day.

A bit of background: due to the third party arrangements, the client’s guardian squeezed every minute out of me they could get and refused to take less than an hour and a half at one time so I just made the sessions two hours to lessen the amount of times I would have to go.

The next time I just parked on the street and wedged myself through an opening in the gate.

Driving home I would have the windows rolled down.  The condo had a very interesting smell and my significant other would comment when I walked in the door.  Those clothes were immediately stripped off and in the washing machine.

The longer I was with my client the more I found out that helped some things I had observed make sense.

When I talk about my 85% to 90% success rate, this client was one of those I don’t know the outcome or outcomes.  I was summoned after they had failed their licensing test the first time and met the usual resistance.  They had certain expectations and their guardian had others.  The meticulous notes I found in the book and paperwork were not my client’s.  The second time their score went up yet it was still under what the State was requesting.  We used up the hours right before they were scheduled to take the test a third time. I left my client with a detailed, written instruction list of study tips, review tips, piles of organized flashcards, a notebook with notes, and a message of it is up to you to study for this.

I called the third party for a followup but never received any.

To this day I still don’t know what happened with them.  I wonder when I go by the area where they live, if they are still there.

I hope life has treated them well and they passed on their third try.  I think of that when I see the pink blossoms in the spring.

Review: Fifth Business

Don’t look up information before you write a review.  Yet I did find out Tokyo Police Club wrote a song based on this book.

Ramsay, the protagonist of Fifth Business, could be Everyman and Anyperson except that historical and world events move through his life and become up close and personal.

Fifth Business is a story that no matter how much we don’t believe that we impact people’s lives around us, we find out about it at the weirdest moments and when we least expect to. Then at some point everything will come to a head and perhaps not the way we expect. It’s also about belief, love, being yourself, being part of something and being part of other people’s lives.

This book talks a lot about magic and has a magic all of it’s own.

Ayn Rand’s Anthem

The edition I found of this is the Student Edition.  I am always wary of these because I feel like something has been taken out or simplified.

What is the word that must not be spoken?  What is this word that people die for?

I’ve tried reading Ayn Rand in the past and haven’t been able to read through.  I may try again.

Anthem, as presented here, is a parable.  A man whose only identity is a number decides to go against what he has been told he must be.  A woman joins him and they find refuge in something they were told was dangerous.  And they find a lot more.

This books asks the question: what does it to mean to exist?  What is existence?