Posted tagged ‘poetry’

The Saturday Book Shop: December 19, 2020

December 19, 2020

Welcome back to The Saturday Book Shop.

I’m sharing three books today that sort of sum up the moment here in the midst of the holidays, the pandemic, and looking forward with hope and faith toward 2021, even though we still have quite a ways to go.

Almost Everything: Notes on Hope by Anne Lamotte is just the right blend of funny-meets-unflinching faith that I’ve seen described as capturing “life’s imperfect moments perfectly”. She is also the author of so many favorite titles, including the classic Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, which is all the title implies and more. Love it, and have happily followed her writings long time.

Keep Going by Austin Kleon is a gem of a book by a “writer who draws”. It’s full of creative inspiration and reminder-smiles that do literally help keep you going, come what may. He has an excellent newsletter and eclectic fun blog you can sign up for too.  All of his books rock with  wisdom and wit and big riffs of delight.

And finally, Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver. I am grateful to have many many poetry books. Love them all. Especially this one. Mary Oliver and all of her quietly elegant words—which uplift the everyday well spring of nature and life with such a notice-everything-and-tell-about-it open heart—are all time favorites, to be sure. When I was pulling this book off the shelf to snap this photo, a little postcard I had painted for myself and stuck in the book fluttered out. I’d popped it in opposite this poem … seems especially apropos at the moment:

WHAT GORGEOUS THING

I do not know what gorgeous thing

the bluebird keeps saying,

his voice easing out of his throat,

beak, body into the pink air

of the early morning. I like it

whatever it is. Sometimes

it seems the only thing

in the world that is without

questions that can’t and probably 

never will be answered, the

only thing that is entirely content

with the pink, then clear white

morning, and gratefully, says so.

— by Mary Oliver

Wishing you and yours a Very Happy, Peaceful, Healthy, & Heart-full-of-Love-and-quiet-Joys kinda Holiday season❣️

“A book is a present you can open again and again.”

The Saturday Book Shop

December 12, 2020

Welcome back to The Saturday Bookshop!

This first book I want to show you today is near and dear to my heart because it is by my dear friend and internationally-acclaimed artist, Chantal Bethel. I had the honor of getting to design and handle the graphic layout for Beyond the Surface: Art, Discovery, Healing and Transformation—a coffee table treasure filled with 112 full color pages of her beautiful and powerful paintings, mixed media installations, and sculptures, along with a selection of essays, quotes, and poems by various writers, art historians, curators, artists, and art critics. Born in Haiti, schooled in Belgium, and ultimately finding her home in The Bahamas, Chantal Bethel’s work reflects her complex and multi-layered story. Chantal Bethel’s art continually delves “beyond the surface” connecting pieces of her own life with the fullness of humanity’s tragedies and triumphs. To see a flip-through of the hardcover book, click here. The book is available in Nassau at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) Mixed Media Gift Shop, or in the U.S. and Canada by writing to me here.

NEXT UP IS A GREAT READ & NEW CHRISTMAS CLASSIC

Smelling Roses: A Tale of Connection and Transformation is a debut novel by another dear friend and celebrated multi-talented painter and mixed media artist, Claudette Dean, who also writes poetry and now: brilliant books as well! I was honored and delighted to get to put together the cover design for this new Christmas classic—a tale of different dimensions of tide and time coming together to channel light during the tumultuous era of the 1960s. Sparkling with wit and mystical wonder, the story is amazingly in synch with today’s changing world and the challenges of trusting the growing waves of love rising against huge opposition. This novel is available via Amazon, or check with Claudette Dean via her website. It’s a Christmas page-turner and heart warmer all at once.

AND SPEAKING OF CHANGING TIMES …

With the votes finally counted and President-elect Joe Biden and VP-Elect Kamala Harris bringing new leadership to the United States, it’s important to remember the work that yet needs to be done and to say: Black Lives STILL Matter. Works by gifted new talent, like the marvelous writer/artist Morgan Harper Nichols, and a dynamic collection of black voices curated by conceptual artist Natasha Marin, share life experience alongside longtime greats, such as the legendary writers Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison. And I’m enjoying President Barack Obama‘s memoir so much. Those of you reading this who’ve known me for any length of time know how enthusiastically I campaigned for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. Reading A Promised Land reminds me of his intelligence, cool head, solid strength, and passion for a fair playing field that he brought to bear—all while rebuilding a crashed economy into a thriving one while battling unprecedented political obstruction. I’m cheering now for the election of Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock in Georgia. Even a very small donation to their campaigns at this moment would be a huge gift to a smoother path toward helping us all build back better. Here are links to the titles pictured above:

All Along You Were Blooming by Morgan Harper Nichols

Black Imagination curated by Natasha Marin

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry

A Promised Land by Barack Obama

..AND A BIG GRATEFUL SHOUT OUT to my longtime dear friend and bookshop connoisseur and mentor, Vanessa Hammill, who specializes in designing books about the history of her family’s native North Carolina, while also handling special orders and classroom recommendations for teachers and professional groups. She has a wide depth of book knowledge about all sorts of books, and first introduced me to classic children’s books, way before my now-just-graduated-from-college-daughter was born. These classics were well-worn with happy repeated readings. I dusted them off here from the storage box of childhood keepsakes. Well worn and well loved. Such wisdom in children’s books. And I am especially enchanted with the vibrant and joyful art and illustrations of Eric Carle, Lois Ehlert, and Ashley Bryan.

… well, I see the clock has just ticked past midnight as I type this, so here’s hoping you’ll enjoy this chapter of The Saturday Bookshop even if you’re not seeing it until Sunday morning! I forgot how long it sometimes takes to link things up on blogs! (smiles) The wonderfully self-fluent writer Havi Brooks says “All timing is right timing.”  I love that. And I’m very much enjoying sharing about my love of books here, and it would be wonderful to hear what you’re reading, or looking forward to reading, or any longtime book favorites. See you next week & happy reading!

“Books are a present you can open again and again.” 

The Saturday Book Shop

December 5, 2020

Many years ago (pre-Amazon days!) and for a very short time, I had a little bookshop that popped up on Saturdays in a picturesque Italian gelato cafe on Grand Bahama Island. My love of books was on full display within the shelves I would set up every week amidst the scent of cappuccino and waffle cones awaiting scoops of fresh-made gelato. The wide range of titles—everything from children’s book classics to National Geographic coffee table books—were very well received. I adored getting to introduce cafe visitors to new stories—and getting to learn about their favorites. It was a joy, pure and simple.

I still love all sorts of books and I thought it would be fun to host a sort of online essence of the shop here … sharing a few books each week as if we were sipping an espresso or indulging in a tropical treat together. There are so many great reading resources online these days, it’s hard to know where to start, and yet the thing about any creative process is it’s often best to do just that — start — and enjoy the process of figuring it out!

So, here we go … and I’ll begin by noting books that are top of mind for me right now. I love these new coffee table books about the Exumas because of the gorgeous photography and vignette stories inside, and also because I was delighted to get to create the cover art for them! 

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A glimpse inside and more details about these new coffee table books by photographer Alessandro Sarno is here. The images, gathered over eleven years of visits to the Exumas, showcase some of the incredibly beautiful places and faces within the rare natural beauty of these islands of The Bahamas.

FROM THE STACK OF BOOKS NEAR THE BEDSIDE TABLE

How To Fly in 10,000 Easy Lessons by Barbara Kingsolver

The Life of Plants—A Metaphysics of Mixture by Emanuele Coccia

TRUST by Pete Buttigieg

Pieces of A Song by Diane di Prima

Threads of Life: A History of The World through the Eye of A Needle by Clare Hunter

Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz

AND A COUPLE OF CREATIVE TOUCHSTONES

I love to reread parts of these often … full of inspiration and timeless wise and witty reminders … especially important anchors in this unusual-to-say-the-least time … 

click books for link

AND MORE PLACES TO FIND WONDERFUL BOOKS & TERRIFIC WRITINGS ABOUT BOOKS …

I am especially fond of the marvelously thoughtful Brain Pickings by Maria Popova, Austin Kleon’s brilliant and eclectic weekly newsletter and blog, and Elizabeth Gilbert’s new Onward book club as sources of sharing a wide wealth of writings and books. Well worth being on their mailing lists.

That’s it for now, other than a plea to support local independent booksellers whenever you can—these intrepid entrepreneurs have made the publishing world go round for a long long time and are essential nooks of civilization and creative caffeine everywhere! 

What are you reading now? Would love to hear what’s on your nightstand table or in your book bag or e-reader if you want to share in the comments. See you next Saturday … 📚 

“A book is a present you can open again and again.”

 

 

 

Yellow Butterfly of JOY, I Salute You

December 31, 2012

Yellow Butterfly of JOY

 

Yellow Butterfly of JOY, I Salute You

You dance through the wild blue skies

where sunshine floats

asking nothing more than to be noticed

your vivid essence of daffodils, golden butter, and dappled dawns

flits across my radar screen

and the world stills

as I embrace the wonder of you

aflutter, holding you deeply in my heart

a sunlit reminder of the serendipity

and lightness of being that flows freely

as we gather the nectar of flowers

timeless and fleeting all at once

Wings of YES

Wings of Ooh

Wings of Love

Wings of Praise

Gratitude & Grace

Dazzling Days

– Paula Boyd Farrington · 12/31/2012

Happy New Year All!

Sunday Inspiration: The Summer Day

July 17, 2011

 

 

 

 


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