An Integrated Approach

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on endings and beginnings

2014 is almost here! Finally!

2013 was a beast of a year and I am not sorry to see it end. With a new year, comes a new project (also a new job, a new home in a new state and a new life direction, but that’s beside the point). The fall was not what I expected, and some serious health issues have caused a complete and utter redesign of what I thought I would do with my life.

As I convalesce, not wanting to further rot my brain on TV (though I’ve done a fair bit of that), I have turned once again to books, my first loves and dearest friends. Initially, I found that the fantasy novels of my youth were too intense and ‘getting healthy’ books usually left me with more fear about what could happen rather than encouraging me that I was healing. I craved a meditative existence so I called a friend and asked for a recommendation, “Who’s writing feels prayerful without being about God?”. Enter Annie Dillard. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek was not a peaceful book, it was not the walking through pretty pastures that I thought I wanted. It was, is, an honest look and meditation on the world that the author encountered. It is dark and rough, light-with-the-dark, and as I read, looking despair and gruesome reality in the face, I felt stronger. It took nearly two months to finish, my heart wasn’t always able to go to the dark crags around Tinker Creek in those far east mountains. I immediately wanted to turn it into a play. I wanted to share this treasure, this kindred spirit, this woman’s soul who saw the world in a way that was so hard and so good for me. I still want to adapt the work, inexperienced though I am, so stay tuned.

However, the real project I want to embark upon is more record-keeping in nature. I’ve long kept a reading list, but I want to expand upon that. I often have very strong feelings/reactions/ideas about someone else’s work and I think it’s time to discipline myself to concisely articulate my feelings/reactions/ideas. This year, since I am such an inconsistent blogger, I have decided to try and write something about most of the books I read. I am aiming for once a month on the hope that I will exceed my expectations.

I am already losing the taste of wonder about Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, and that saddens me. I hope, that by getting some of my thoughts and the authors phrases onto paper or screen, I will be able to carry these found wisdoms with me a bit longer.

Photo from the park where I went to read 'Pilgrim at Tinker Creek'

Photo from the park where I went to read ‘Pilgrim at Tinker Creek’


Both photos are taken with a Holga film camera, a present from a dear friend, which has accompanied me on my daily walks for some time now.