Wet, Sad, and Hopeful in Everyday Ramblings

  • May 7, 2022, 1:45 p.m.
  • |
  • Public

This is where I catch the bus most often. It is across the street at the place that used to be my gym and is now the Portland headquarters of Under Armor. When they moved in, they planted the young white dogwoods. This picture of them in the rain is the perfect tonal quality for what it is like here today. Wet, sad, and hopeful.

The theme for tomorrow’s online book club is… What Shaped Your Worldview (Including Books)? Our facilitator sent along a photo of a painting of a woman in full length high-collared black dress and hat reclining under a tree, reading.

How do you experience and understand the world? Your world? What’s important to you? What do you love? What’s going on here? What made you, you? Which books changed the way you see?

This got me going down a memory rabbit hole. What I remember the most as the youngest in a family of four bright inquisitive kids is reading this set of books, we had along with our World Books that were a graduated version of classic stories from literature with fabulous illustrations. To say I loved those books is an understatement. They were in some respects the creator of my world. I was still reading them over and over at 12 and 13.

I couldn’t remember what the set was called and went looking for them this morning and asked Kes. We ruled out Collier’s Junior Classics. A few minutes ago, to get my “hourly” steps and floors I went out to walk around the block in a slight break in the rain and when I came back like the message in an Ouija Ball, the name floated into conscious range in my brain.

My Book House books. Apparently, they are still big with homeschoolers, and I totally get that.

We were talking about Shakespeare when I was 13 or 14 and Midsummer Night’s Dream and I remember going and finding the version in those books. It is such a visceral memory. I can remember the cool uncarpeted floor and the light in what was at first our beach house in Huntington Beach and then after my mother died our permanent house. I remember where the books were on the concrete blocks and boards shelves my oldest sister had constructed that covered one whole wall of the living area, the color of the bindings and lettering. The feel of them, the magic that was in them. And being the youngest the pride I felt at being able to consume all the stories by myself. I was quite young when I read the most advanced stories.

The progressive nature of the books also inspired my love of earning badges and points and gold stars as motivation for doing things.

I am trying to think of what else I read made me who I am. Everything? Can I say that? I went on binges, Faulkner, Virginia Wolfe, Doris Lessing, Latin American writers. There isn’t one book that stands out. I guess how I would classify this is libraries. Libraries made me who I am. I have utmost respect, admiration, and fealty to the libraries of the world. As a public good they are unparalleled.

To me everything seems still possible as long as we have libraries.

On Thursday I had my fourth Pfizer vaccine shot. It was a full dose. My understanding is that on the 2nd booster Moderna is a half dose and that they all may go to half dose as ongoing preventatives.

Although I was anxious about the whole thing because of previous reactions I was grateful to get the shot for free at my grocery pharmacy. Once I got home and got busy doing other things, I forgot I had had it until late in the afternoon I was in the middle of an interactive workshop on “Movement and Mental Health” and as an exercise in exploring reactivity our teacher had us hold our arms out away from our bodies for an absurdly long time.

Yow. Oh, I said. Shot. Last night I slept 10 ½ hours and feel fine today. Much better than getting the virus. I took a Benadryl just before the shot and have my fingers crossed I can skip the hives this time.

What shaped your worldview? Besides place. Or because of place. Or anything else.

Last updated May 07, 2022

Deleted user May 07, 2022 (edited May 07, 2022)


Interesting! Last year we were vaccinated twice and also boosted in November. There is no advice yet for the fourth, but maybe later this year. As for the rain… I wish you could send us some rain. Here it is much too dry. It has not rained for more than a month. Our groundwater is therefore already far too low, and the summer has yet to start! Climate!! Every day we have blue skyes and sunny and warm weather. Very unusual!

I love reading very much and once 13, 14 years I went to the library and read books that were in fact not yet for my age. We have way too many books in our house and now we decided to borrow them more often from the library than buy them ourselves. I hope we can because when we walk into a bookstore it's very hard to resist some titles.
I like to read non fiction...all kinds such as science, politics, economics, history, biographies, but also historical novels. When a good fiction book comes out, I read it too of course. Now I'm reading a book that came out at the end of 2021 and immediately got a second printing. It was very popular here for the past six months and still is. It’s written by Edin Mujagic and it reads very smoothly

Enjoy your weekend!

noko Deleted user ⋅ May 08, 2022

Thanks. My sister, who is planning on downsizing and moving into a lively retirement community asked me last week if I wanted her poetry books and I was like, no, no no, no more books. :) That is what libraries and the internet and e-readers are for. I am curious, is opposition to going off the gold standard a widely held belief there?

mcbee May 07, 2022

My world view was shaped by a few excellent teachers, many discussions with my father and a few friends.......but mostly reading. I read lots of news articles and websites that I perceive as being intelligent and giving good information. I also read books voraciously, and with the help of Google, I research any thing that catches my attention. The more knowledge I have, the more passionate I am about the world and what's going on in it. So many problems, not many problem solvers.

noko mcbee ⋅ May 08, 2022

Thanks. More passionate engagement with the world is a hard row to hoe with all the big issues but personally I feel that it is the only way a democracy works.

Jinn May 08, 2022

My Paternal Grandmother contributed hugely to my world view. She was a teacher by profession but I think a natural teacher too . I was a willing pupil . I remember her as a sort of Renaissance woman ; she loved to read ( and taught me so I could read at age three ) , she ran a house, was an equal partner in quite a large dairy farm, raised exotic poultry . She sewed, painted , crocheted , gardened , and played the piano very well. She passed on to me her love for music, plants, animals , Nature, art, and literature . My Gran was a natural storyteller and looking back I see she wove life lessons into her stories. It was not easy for my Grandparents to have me left with them as a brand new baby but neither she nor my Grandfather ever acted as though it was a burden. I knew I was loved even though I did not get that from my parents.
I always felt that my true and only home as a kid was at my Grandparent’s farm and since I was taken away from there unwillingly , I believe that I adopted a view of the world as mostly a scary place , one that you always need to worry and constantly maneuver to avoid dangers . What is important to me is calm and a feeling of stability because I lacked that for so many years of my life . I love my family , nature , my pets, my plants and my books . When I first started reading the books that made the most impact on me were classics; The Secret Garden, The Little Princess, Pollyanna , The wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, The Yearling , Black Beauty , Old Yeller, The Black Stallion books, Dr Suess books, Beautiful Joe, The call of the Wild , Robin Hood , Tom Sawyer , The Adventures of Huck Finn, A Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court , To Kill A Mockingbird , Alas Babylon , 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the Earth,Around the World in 80 Days, Jane Eyre , Anne of Green Gables, A Tale of Two Cities , Oliver Twist , The count of Monte Cristo and the list goes on and on . :-)

noko Jinn ⋅ May 08, 2022

Thanks. Lovely insights here.

Deleted user May 09, 2022

Bambi, the novel by Felix Salten. It is written from a deer's point of view. That was the beginning of everything with my thoughts on how we treat animals. Education by Franciscan nuns brought that forward.

The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck. Love as a verb. Go figure.

And of course, the now-cancelled On Beyond Zebra, by Dr. Seuss. That book made me want to be a writer.

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