Every night I sleep next to Barbara Kingsolver, Natalie Goldberg, Julia Cameron, Christina Baldwin, Sarah Ban Breathnach, Anne LaMott, and Tristine Rainer. They don’t get much action but I love them all and like having them close by.
Books on journaling, books on writing, and couple more on parenting. A few novels, two Brain, Child editions and an extra journal for those nights when I awake with an idea or a dream that is in danger of dissipating before dawn. Atop it all is my planner, my faithful sidekick which not-so-subtly informs me I do not have any extra minutes with which to read these volumes of verbiage.
I wish I had the ability to absorb all the knowledge and wisdom these books hold lovingly between their covers. The spirituality of the some of these writers astounds and inspires me. I want to take in every thought they have committed to paper, not just for myself and this journey I am on, but for those of you who read this blog and those I will be teaching in the future.
I also want to read to become a better writer myself. These writers have honed their craft until words cease to be just words. They become art on a canvas or a tug at the heart. Reading becomes the peace of the woods, the refrain of a chorus, the fingernail of a newborn baby.
I fantasize about sitting alone next to a roaring fire reading, writing, reading and writing some more. Lots of hot coffee, smooth chocolate, and sweet wine.
But my reality is far from that: Noise, school morning and bath time craziness, blogs to read and write, TV-addiction (yes, I admit it, but only a few particular shows), and a house that doesn’t respect me enough to keep clean.
Unlike a lover who would not tolerate being so often spurned, the precious ladies on my nightstand are willing to wait, are even amendable enough to allow the newest gem to be placed on top. Little by little I will glean what I can, when I can. Meanwhile I am hoping that their very presence next to my pillow is enough to make me a wiser, deeper, and more thoughtful woman, mother, and teacher.
What’s on your nightstand? What does it say about you?
6 thoughts on “Volumes of wisdom”
i am SO with you jo! tho, my pile is on the floor next to my bed, not my nightstand. i actually relocated much of my pile to the bookshelf b/c it was just getting too big. sometimes i secretly hope for some catastrophic accident that requires a month of bedrest so that i can actually read 1/2 the books i’ve bought over the last several years. i know, i know that’s a terrible thing to say……
starting a book club with a few of my friends a couple years ago really did help tho. we have a ‘committment’ to try to get through one book a month. and its a marvelous way for us to all keep in touch with each other’s lives. of course, if i were trying to get writing done as well, in my ‘spare time’ – i’m sure the reading would get even more neglected, but i’m proud to say that i have finished MOST of the books we’ve chosen to read in the last 2 years.
in fact, i’m off to go devour a few pages of MY favorite book of all time… the poisonwood bible. reading it for the 2nd time, this time with my book club. i will tell barbara that you send your love….. :-)))
love you you talented and inspirational lady!
p.s. do you know who this is??? ;-)))
Of course, I know, mi darlin’! I’ve never been part of a book club but I know I would enjoy it. Loved Poisonwood Bible! I’ve read all her novels and can’t wait to read her new one. Her essays are fabulous too.
And about being *forced* to stay in bed – oh yeah! Just a mild something that came with a maid….
Love ya, K-girl!
Oh yes. I’m glad you mention a few I haven’t read and Tristine Rainer is on my to read list. If you ever have a chance to attend one of Natalie Goldberg’s workshops in Taos it is something to remember. The land is as inspiring as she writes it to be. There should be more Kingsolver in my life 🙂
I would LOVE to visit Taos! She’s an amazing lady. I attended a reading up here for her newest book (the name of which I’m blanking on). So dynamic and passionate.
How embarrassing that I am commenting on every one of your posts! But I feel the same things: I imagine myself alone, in a clean, quiet house, pouring out profound volumes of prose, in longhand even.
Real life is not so picturesque.
On the other hand, I manage to write amidst all the chaos, so maybe that’s what really works for me.
I LOVE that you are commenting! Thank you for visiting!
If it wasn’t for the chaos of real life our writing wouldn’t be as real, right?