Friday, 13 February 2009

Friday thoughts and memes

Eva has a fabulous post on why she's not buying any books right now, and she would like to know if you do, or don't, buy books, and the reasons why. I commented on her post, but I thought it was a topic worthy of mentioning here: I buy books. I buy a lot of books. For a long time, I could only buy a few here and there, so when I was made permanent in my job - after years and years of being part-time and working two jobs at the same time - I decided that it was time. I was rich enough to buy books again. I have a sort of book allowance which I set myself, and tend to go over if we can, but at the bottom of my heart I realized that if I can buy books, then I feel I am wealthy. I have enough. We don't have lots of luxuries and I hate shopping unless there's a reason. Except for books. There are times though when I have bought enough (as in my TBR pile as a complete full bookshelf in itself!!), and then I go to the library to try new books and authors first. I think there is a place to be both a buyer and a borrower of books, at the same time. Let her, and myself, know what you think.

Kailana kindly gave me a letter in the Letter meme going around. My letter is "m". Here goes:

1. magic. I love reading fantasy books about magic, and' real' books on magic also. I say that with quotations marks because my definition of what's magical in life is my own. Life is magic. So is love, and the seasons changing, and all the things we each love, and chance meetings that lead to life changes - which I have also experienced, and the magic of creating something - a book, a painting, a song, a sweater, a garden, a beautiful meal. I think magic and beauty, and magic and nature, are intertwined. I think that 'magic' is something we all do; it involves being clear to ourselves about what we want - and why, and once we have really decided it's good, then the Universe turns to meet us. I still like the idea of being able to wave a wand or click my heels though!! And a lot of hard work on my part too, to make it happen. There is magic all around..... maybe I really mean a sense of wonder, of being surprised by life, too. Anyway, it's one of my favourite 'm' words and almost always the first one that comes to mind! We always joke at work about our private 'happy places', I think I've just given you a glimpse into mine!

2. mountains. I have loved mountains since I lived in British Columbia at different times in my childhood: Vernon, in the interior in the Okanagan Valley between the Rockies and the Selkirk mountain ranges, twice; Victoria, and Nanaimo, where we could look across at the Rockies on the mainland in both BC and Washington State. There is something about the grandeur of the mountains, their presence, that I am drawn to.

3. marigold - One of my favourite flowers. I missed planting them last year, and I felt so sad. They are so cheery and bright, and the bees love them. I like planting flowers that the bees and butterflies feed on. They also keep the slugs away!
flower picture

4. mystery - another of my favourite words. Mystery books are my second favourite genre, after fantasy, to read. I love the idea of setting the world to right after a crime or some form of chaos. I also love this word because life is a mystery. We don't know everything, we can't know everything, and that leaves room for wonder and magic and mystery to be part of our lives. I also love it because it connotates exploring something unknown. I found more ways through the city centre of York when I lived there than my husband did in the four years he had lived there previously! I just love how when I say 'mystery', anything could be happening, and it could be about anything.

5. Moxy Fruvous, a Canadian music band, authors of one my favourite songs about books:
"My Baby Loves A Bunch of Authors" - there's 3 m's in this sentence! lol, I'm giving the M for two! Moxy, and the song title beginning, 'My' ....

I will add that I don't have a huge music collection, and I tend to like only a few musicians, but it covers a wide range from classical music to Duffy, the new blues singer from Wales covering everything from the 1960's to 2009. I use music when I'm feeling blue to cheer me up, to destress, to sing along to, to dance to with my children. I don't listen to enough of it, and that's one of my goals this year, to increase the time I spend listening to music. I hope you like the video and the words are priceless, to 'My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors'!

6. Blind Melon 'No Rain" I saved "m for music' for this one! Another long-time favourite song. I've just discovered You Tube and that it has videos from the dark ages! (according to my eldest who's 20) Does the second part of the band's name count as an M word? I think it does. I've included this because this was a video that came out way back in the 1990's and it's about a little girl looking for someone like her. It sort of describes most of my childhood, because I so rarely met anyone who even read books (outside my family). If you listen to the lyrics near the end, you'll hear what she does to escape....It's an odd video, and it's so cool that now I can see it whenever I like!!!

7. moon. Did you know that I plant my garden by the sign the moon's in? that according to the farmer's almanac, the best moons for planting are the water signs - Pisces, Cancer and Scorpio, followed by the earth signs: Taurus (that's me!), Virgo and Capricorn. It works, too. My peonies, notorious sensitive plants, both flowered the first year they were planted, which is almost unheard of! and my rose bush is thriving even though I keep forgetting to cover it in the winter.
I try to watch eclipses when they happen in our area, they are so fascinating. I love how the moon goes from new to full to old. I usually try to see where the moon is every night or day. I was born when the moon was very old, right at the end of the cycle when it is called balsamic. This is supposed to make me ahead of my time, mystical because I'm on the cusp of the new so I can see what's coming (I'm still waiting for this one. I'm awful at predicting trends, seeing ahead, guessing what changes are coming.), and subject to sudden changes and endings in relationships because most of them are karmic in nature. It is of course, the least understood of any of the moons, which makes me mysterious to some, and crazy to others. Did I say that my nickname at work is Crazy Susan, to distinguish me from the other two Susan's who work there?

8. maps.
I like maps. We have a wall map of the UK, and of Canada, downstairs in the basement, so we can look at all the places and remember where we've been. We sort of collect maps haphazardly, when the mood strikes us. So we have two smaller ones of York, one of the North Yorkshire Moors, a walking one of the Cleveland Way (in the UK), one of Ottawa, one of the recreational paths in Ottawa, one of Ontario, the South Pennines, Quebec City, A-Z Guide to Northern England, AND we own the National Geographic World Atlas, a huge book that was a gift to my husband one year, and that answers alot of our questions like, GNP (with a son who questions democracy, this does come up!), when the Berlin Wall came down, how far Ottawa is from everything else. My husband and I love to travel, and he loves to pour over maps when we are planning a trip. For London, we now own 6 specific guide books, complete with maps, of the city. It's not a large collection - yet. It will be, one day. I like to see where things are, and the shape of the world. The children do too.

9. Mint dark chocolate - mmm. More chocolate. The very best kind comes from a little shop in Stratford Ontario called Rheo Thompson Candies. This is all they make, various forms of chocolate and other candies. They are online, here and this is what they look like. Yum. My very favourite mint dark chocolate in the world. They also make the very fabulous dark chocolate covered salted peanuts, which I usually eat much too quickly because they are so very very good. MMMM. Getting hungry now.

10. myth What's the myth you live by? Michelle at Fluttering Butterflies has a marvelous post here on her Tlinglit heritage, giving one of her creation myths. Do you know what your family's creation myths are? Culture's? I have Polish, Welsh, Irish, English, and Scottish myths to look at. The hard part is that a myth is just a story until we find a way to bring it alive in our lives, and unless we leave bread out for the fairies, or carry a stone with a natural hole in it - and I found one long ago on a beach, and I gave it away about 10 years ago, still not quite knowing what I'd found! - or watch Raven or Wolf or Bear when they come into our lives, it's hard to know how to make a myth be a part of our lives. King Arthur is a good example, so is the Mabinogion for Wales, and that's just two. There's all the ancient gods and goddesses of Rome, Greece, China, the Aztecs, the Mayans.....the world over. Is there a myth you particularly like? The closest cycle of stories that really resonates with me is the story of Persephone and Demeter.
I always imagine how it was for Persephone to be taken away into the dark of the underground by Hades, and be surrounded by the dead, and why she chose to stay for part of the year. I also like that
spring is associated with her return.
This is a fun romance/fantasy that is about Persephone:
Goddess of Spring by P.C. Cast., link to publisher here. This is a fun romance/myth retelling of Persephone and Hades. I particularly like how Linnea relates to the ghosts in the underworld.


Miss D. said...

What a wonderful post! I loved all of your letter-posts and I also love your definition of 'wealthy' -- if you can buy books, you're wealthy. I love that. :)

Court said...

...but at the bottom of my heart I realized that if I can buy books, then I feel I am wealthy. I have enough.

I feel exactly the same way. And in a way, they do make us wealthy - we can travel all over the world and through time without even leaving our homes.

Shelley said...

Thank you so much for sharing that song about books! So true in my life.

Eva said...

Marigolds are so pretty! :) And I completely understand why you buy books now. :D

Marg said...

I have owned that PC Cast book for ages! one of these days I will actually read it!

Susan said...

Miss D: thank you! I liked yours, too. I'd been seeing it around on everyone's so I was happy to get M from Kelly. It's also great to know that so many of us agree that buying books does make us wealthy! lol

Court: welcome! thanks for coming by :-D and I think it's great that we agree - books make us wealthy in so many ways, you're so right.

Shelley: isn't that song hilarious? I'm so glad You tube has let me keep that video! It's been ages since I heard it.

Eva: oh, you'll buy books again some day!! Don't worry about that! I was writing to show that we go through phases in our life, even with book buying, and I do think I am very lucky and happy to be able to buy books every month now. I don't take it for granted. So don't feel guilty that you choose not to right now; I think we're all happy that libraries exist so we can keep new books coming into our lives to read, for free!

Marg: it's such a fun light read, and she's done a series on the myths and the goddesses changing with mortals. they can be hilarious as well as interesting reads. I hope you read it one day, let me know! :-D

Nymeth said...

I love your list, Susan! Well, except for mints, I must say :P But otherwise we agree, and I loved reading your explanations about why you love those things.

Like I told Eva, I buy books because I love owning them, but also because I don't have access to a library that has the kinds of books I want to read. I fully agree with you that there's a place to be both a buyer and a borrower, though.

And I hadn't heard of the P.C. Cast book, but I must sounds just like my kind of book.

bloglily said...

Moxy Frouvas! That song made my day. I think this line pretty much sums up my book buying philosophy: "We've been living in hovels/spending our money on novels..."

Happy Valentine's Day. xoxo

Susan said...

Nymeth: you don't like dark chocolates with mint essence? :-( Actually, one of my best friends here doesn't even like chocolate!

PC Cast is in paperback, let me know if you can't find any :-D they're easy to get over here. And I think it's sad that your library doesn't hold more books in English, but thinking about our foreign-language section in our library, I'm not surprised. I guess it's surprising you can get as many books in English as you do.

bloglily: isn't that a great song for all of us? it certainly describes my husband (and my ex-husband's too) view towards my book buying and their secret fear we will end up in a hovel!! lol

Kailana said...

Great list, Susan! I am glad you could come up with so many things that start with the letter 'm'. And, great things, too!

Anonymous said...

Ok I just happened to catch this post. It's so awesome to see that someone else has actually heard of Moxy Fruvous!