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