Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Major Pettigrew's Last StandMajor Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a fireworks-worthy piece of book!
The story successfully accomplished what a good story should: it transported me to another world, away from my problems and worries, to a constantly interesting and satisfying and eventful place, including that hard-to-find wonder, a happy ending!
I actually underlined a number of passages, something I am more likely to do in a philosophical or theological book. There is a fascinating comment on the nature of romantic love: '"The human race is all the same when it comes to romantic relations," said the Major. "A startling absence of impulse control combined with complete myopia."'(p. 181)
There is a treasure of an observation on abstract beliefs vs. concrete situations: "...I think that is how everyone feels in the abstract. But then life hands you something concrete...and abstracts have to go out the window." (p.201)
And a thought-provoking sentence spoken in conversation with a man in despair: "Sometimes I think God created the darkness just so he didn't have to look at us all the time." (p. 341)
On finishing the book, I hurried to the author's website, hoping she had a long list of published work to look forward to. Sadly for me, this is her first book. Here's hoping it's the first of many.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

I overcame the chaos in my garden,
but cannot fight the chaos inside me.
Neglected, unattended, weeds had flourished,
had grown, set seed, and then had grown again.
So far removed from a garden planned and nourished
when tended by a constant caring hand.
Unable to look after it for a season,
I paid the price in sweat and toil and scar,
rewarded by some progress toward reason,
toward what things ought to be, from what they are.
When the gardener seems absent, soil will harden,
disorder comes where growth had used to be.
I overcame the chaos in my garden,
But how to right the chaos inside me?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

After all my troubles I like to think
that deep inside me is a core of faith,
a lovely shining thing, rock hard, upright,
gleaming from the polish of many a dark aching night.
But what I feel there instead is a shaft of pain,
a stabbing standing spear that pierces me again.
I refuse to avoid it as I continue to seek
beneath pain, sorrow, darkness, when I'm not too weak.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Keep your ride upright
as you go on your way.
When the roadway curves
bank a little. Don't stray.
When the road rises up,
a hill hides the coming land,
slow down, keep watch,
keep a strong and steady hand.
When the clouds come down
and you're going in the dark
find shelter until
you see the destination mark.
Look around you as you go,
learn from all the things you see.
Keep your ride upright.
Be the one you're meant to be.