i blame these puddles on the rain…

I’m having a hard time finding anything to say on here this week. Last week I was just plain sick, body with strep throat and heart with Kentucky-homesick, and so this is me getting back into the swing of things. Today in my workout I finally made it my usual 4.5 miles rather than the measly 2.5 that I pulled at the end of last week. I made it to work before eight, was coherent in our team meeting (and quite funny, I must say), made dinner (alright, it was macaroni and cheese) and emptied my mailbox.

I did read two books (for myself) on vacation. I guess I should qualify by saying that I also “read” three books by Mercer Mayer about a little boy and a frog, including a very enjoyable one where the frog goes to dinner, did all the voices for Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel, Seven Little Rabbits, and was introduced to The Relatives Came. (Oh! And was privy to a rousing read of Danny and the Dinosaur although I think that perhaps Ben’s use of the word “angst” to describe the dinosaur’s expression may have gone over the heads of the two-year-old, four-year-old and eight-year-old sitting with him.) But for me by myself, there were only two.

The first, Fault Lines has an interesting premise (family secrets told by four generations of six-year-olds, starting with the story of the most recent) about an interesting subject (the blond, blue-eyed children stolen from their families and given to German families to bolster up the Aryan race during WWII) that I quite literally devoured on the trip down. I left at 5:45 in the morning, and by the time I landed at noon, I had been finished and digesting for at least an hour. Because I read it so fast, I guess it’s hard to say that the book wasn’t good, but…the first voice was so brutal. I pray that no six-year-old has all that perverted hatred for humanity going on in their super-genius mind, for one, and I know that no six-year-old, super-genius or not has that kind of grasp on abstract reality. It didn’t read true, and it nearly made me throw up. But it got better. The next three voices were much more believable (maybe not as six-year-olds, but children, at least) and the story really started to grip in. I’m not sure I quite believe in the same kind of familial scarring as Huston portrayed, where a trauma in one generation ripples down to create a super monster three generations later. I mean, I believe that the sins of the father will be visited on the children, but I didn’t follow how the disconnect created during the war resulted in a war-mongering kindergartner. Maybe I missed the boat. It was well-written, but I thought could have been better thought out. I might see what else she has out there that is translated. Only read this on if you have a strong stomach, since the first quarter of the book is not for the faint of heart, and somewhat unnecessary.

The second book I read was The Little Prince. I read it on the way home, while abominably sick (you know I have to be to break down and ask the stewardess for Ibprofen) and tired and just having said goodbye to people that it was hard to leave behind, even if I know I will see them again much sooner this time. I don’t know how I’ve never read this book before. I felt a little startled when I finally read it that it was so excellent and so poignant and I had never so much as cracked its cover. But then, perhaps this is the sort of book that needs to cross your path at a particular time in a particular way. Perhaps the reason that the story so touched my heart had to do with the scrawl from a friend in the front cover that says “Remember: What is essential is invisible to the eye.” And then, when I read about the Little Prince, and his rose, and the fox, for whom he was responsible because he had tamed him, my heart had a special place for them even before I knew them. This book, I was told, quite seriously, is quite Platonic (not as in, no I don’t like you like that, but as in, there is a world of reality but there is also a world populated by ideal forms, by which we can see the flaws of reality (I’m sure I’m oversimplifying, please don’t burn me)) but I’m not sure I would over-intellectualize it like that. This is a book about Love and about Belonging. This is a book for a thirsty heart. And now, you can feel free to make fun of me for being a mushy romantic about things. Go for it.

That’s really all I have. I think that’s more than I thought I had. Behold! I have posted about my reading, and have satisfied the world’s hunger for knowledge about my life. Loves!!

Books read so far this year – 29 (I know, I know. And that’s with the picture books added in. This might not be my year for 100…)
Books on my bedside stack – 9, that I can see.
Library books in that stack that are overdue – 2
Library fines – heaven only knows, I haven’t looked.

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5 thoughts on “i blame these puddles on the rain…

  1. I have a response to this that is way too long for a comment so I’ll give you the short version. I was listening to Fresh Air yesterday – her guest was a British financial journalist who has written a book about the global economic meltdown. She was explaining derivatives- which I have never understood and then suddenly it clicked. And the only reason it clicked was Plato’s GLB -which made me giggle. I’m sure lots of people grasp the idea of derivative trading very easily but unless it’s related to classical philosophy, it’s (I’m sorry) all Greek to me.

    1. You made me laugh out loud in my cubicle. Feel free to give the long version, because this was my kind of thought process.

  2. Oh it’s not that interesting on second thought. It was just that the idea of an abstraction being traded seemed nonsensical but the way she described it, “there is the physical object and then there is the idea of the object” was familiar ground to me – it IS ludicrous that one (philosophical) appears straightforward to me but the other (economic) seems bizarre and farfetched. Ha! It’s a good thing I’m not a trader… Although I still think it’s a kind of groupthink that’s dangerous, “it has value because we say it has value.” Eh.

    1. I’ll have to tell Ben about this when I talk to him this weekend. It’s the sort of thing he will appreciate (and then he’ll pull apart my understanding of Plato and tell me to go back and re-read some portion or other of his work.) Thanks for the amusing tidbit. :-)

  3. Whos’ Ben? I am embarrassed to say that what I know of Plato comes from limited reading, lots of Mary Renault, and one blissful afternoon spent drinking wine and “helping” our friend Tamer with his Plato paper on the GLB. I put helping in quotes because he got a D on the paper. But it was one of my most enjoyable afternoons. 6 good friends, heated debate, new thoughts *sigh* I miss that.

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