“Be still, and the world is bound to turn herself inside out to entertain you. Everywhere you look, joyful noise is clanging to drown out quiet desperation.”–Barbara Kingsolver
This reminds me to take time to pause and really look around me. Especially when I contemplate nature. There really is so much to see every day. It doesn’t matter if it is sunny, cloudy, warm, or rainy, there is always something beautiful. Today it has been mostly cloudy. I noticed this morning that some of the clouds in the sky were beautiful, like the way the marine clouds crept over the tops of the local Santa Monica mountains this morning, as a I drove off to do literacy tutoring. I could have been preoccupied with my plans for the morning and distracted by the traffic. It was worth the effort to gaze up at the sky and take notice. I noticed the hills around my neighborhood are still green, with some goldenrod and wild California poppies blooming. Just seeing all the pretty wild grasses, shrubs and wildflowers was uplifting.
About Barbara Kingsolver from her website:
“Barbara Kingsolver was born in 1955, and grew up in rural Kentucky. She earned degrees in biology from DePauw University and the University of Arizona, and has worked as a freelance writer and author since 1985. At various times in her adult life she has lived in England, France, and the Canary Islands, and has worked in Europe, Africa, Asia, Mexico, and South America. She spent two decades in Tucson, Arizona, before moving to southwestern Virginia where she currently resides.
Her books, in order of publication, are: The Bean Trees (1988), Homeland (1989), Holding the Line: Women in the Great Arizona Mine Strike (1989), Animal Dreams (1990), Another America (1992), Pigs in Heaven (1993), High Tide in Tucson (1995), The Poisonwood Bible (1998), Prodigal Summer (2000), Small Wonder (2002), Last Stand: America’s Virgin Lands, with photographer Annie Griffiths Belt (2002), Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (2007), and The Lacuna (2009). She served as editor for Best American Short Stories 2001. Her books have been translated into more than two dozen languages, and have been adopted into the core literature curriculum in high schools and colleges throughout the nation. She has contributed to more than fifty literary anthologies, and her reviews and articles have appeared in most major U.S. newspapers and magazines.”
I have not read her books but have heard of The Poisonwood Bible, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, and The Lacuna.
The Poisonwood Bible partial summary from her website:
“The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it—from garden seeds to Scripture—is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family’s tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.”
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is about how Barbara and her family commit themselves to eating only locally grown foods, or food they have grown themselves, and what is available seasonally.
“The Lacuna is a poignant story of a man pulled between two nations as they invent their modern identities.” The two nations are the United States and Mexico. It includes the famous Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in the story. I think I want to read it just because of those two artists.
Remember to be still…