November ’11 was…

Where do I begin with this freakin’ month. It went by way too fast, I’ll tell ya that much! When I look back on what I read, what I did, it’s all a gigantic blur. I am still mourning the loss of my cousin; still haven’t found the strength to search death certificates to find out what really happened to him. Maybe I, deep down in the depths of my soul, really do not want to know how he met his demise. Maybe I am not strong enough to handle the truth or his tortured life.
I’m also in denial about the runner I used to see everyday on my way into work. His case is a little harder to wrap my heart around. He is a complete stranger who made an impact on me with his little red hat and bony knees. I don’t know his name. I don’t know if he’s dead or alive. All I know is that the tenacious, determined soul I saw every morning is gone. I have to admit I am a little less inspired to start each day.

Given all that, my reading hasn’t been inspiring either:

  • Death at an Early Age by Jonathan Kozol (oh how ironic). I enjoyed this as much as anyone could reading about an underfunded urban school trying to serves underprivileged kids.
  • Primary Colors by Anonymous. This is one book that I actually read during the proper month – on honor of Election month, something political.
  • Victorian Lady Travellers by Dorothy Middleton. I think I mentioned this before but I was really disappointed Middleton used so many quotes from the ladies she was writing her about. They wrote more of the book than she did.
  • By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I think when I read this I was looking for some relief from the woe-is-me I had been reading earlier.
  • Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. This was a reread from my high school days. If I had been following the reading schedule this would have been read in December in honor of King Arthur but since this wasn’t about King Arthur per se I guess I am okay.
  • Beyond the Bedroom Wall by Larry Woiwode. My one incomplete of the month. I just couldn’t get into it. Shame on me.
  • Nop’s Trials by Donald McCaig. Shame on me (again) for ended with another tearjerker of a story. Yes, it ends happy but it definitely has it’s sad moments.

So, there is it. What else happened in November? I got to see some really great music – Futhur and Bela Fleck (not together, although that would have been freakin’ ah maze ing). Kisa and I tried to make it up to Monhegan for Thanksgiving but ended up being here. Again. Sigh. Of course the weather was perfect for days afterward….c’est la vie.

September 09 was…

September 2009 was…Back to school. I spent the first part of the month concentrating on hiring for the library and avoiding tragedy. Kisa and I took a much needed vacation – first to Fenway park (go Red Sox!) and then to Baltimore for a little getaway. September is the month I will always mourn my father, but now I add Mary Barney to the list of tears. As I have always said, everything bad happens in September. This year was no different. As you can tell, I buried myself in books.

The Escape was:

  • The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka ~ I had completely forgotten how disturbing this book was!
  • The Reivers by William Faulkner ~ a southern classic that almost had me beat.
  • A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush by Eric Newby ~ funny tale about a first-time expedition
  • Out of the Blue: the Story of September 11, 2001 From Jihad to Ground Zero by Richard Bernstein and the staff of  The New York Times ~ an unsettling journalistic account of what really happened on 9/11/01.
  • The Johnstown Flood by David McCullough ~ a nonfiction about what happens when mother nature meets bad human design.
  • Off Balance: the Real World of Ballet by Suzanne Gordon ~ a nonfiction about the ugly side of dance.
  • Sarah Canary by Karen Joy Fowler ~ magical book about three very broken people (in honor of real character month).
  • A Student of Weather by Elizabeth Hay ~ Hay’s first novel – one I couldn’t put down it was that good! This was on the September list as “the best time to visit Canada.”
  • Native Son by Richard Wright ~incredibly depressing. I’m almost sorry I read it this month.
  • The View From Pompey’s Head by Hamilton Basso ~ a last minute pick-me-up, read in honor of Basso’s birth month (but also doubled as a “southern” read).

For LibraryThing and the Early Review program: Day of the Assassins by Johnny O’Brien. Geared towards teenage boys, this was a fun, fast read.

For fun, I read a quick book called Women Who Run by Shanti Sosienski . Since our flight to Baltimore was only 40-some-odd minutes I didn’t want to bring a lengthy read. This was perfect.

Send Me Superman

I got the call during the worst moment. I was dealing with a bad attitude. I was trying not to deal out a bad attitude just the same. “She died” was all my mother said. For a moment I couldn’t speak. My mouth gaped open, I nearly dropped the phone, the world slowed down and drained away. Silence. She died. Just like that. Mother, wife, friend, neighbor. Gone. Just like that.

Send me Superman to take away this sorrow. Send me Superman to keep me strong. Send them Superman, too. I think of her kids, her husband, her community and hear their hurt loud and clear. Send them every super hero heart to love them during this trying time.

All in Shock

My mother’s email read, “D died suddenly. All in shock.” No sh!t. Shock is an understatement. Kisa came to bed and said, “I think I know what happened. Yaz went into the hospital early this morning and D couldn’t take it.” Despite my self stunned state I smiled. He had a point and could possibly be right. No one loved the Red Sox more than D, except maybe his daughter.

I want to think that’s exactly what happened. Home is just too small of a place for mysteriously sudden passings. Things like that just don’t happen. We read about them in the news. We see them on television. They shock us yet we manage to shake our heads and say Glad that wasn’t here. But, but. But! In our little world when people die we usually see it coming from a long way off. Like a ship on the horizon we see the approach and brace ourselves for the arrival. We have time to think, time to prepare. Even my father sent us signs. Headaches, high blood pressure. We should have seen it coming a mile away yet we chose to be stunned.

“All in shock” is definitely an understatement.

Edited to add: Nothing could have prepared me for the passing of LeRoi Moore. It seems so unreal. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that a founding member of the Dave Matthews Band, just 46 years old, is dead. I have to blink my eyes and scratch my head. Three days of bad news. Is it September already?