I dreamt a giant buck passed 3 feet in front of me into the crepuscular light, hooves silently floating over the white, open landscape. He looked at me with no expression.
I was never much of a reader. I preferred picture books as a child, magazines as a teenager and coffee table and art books as an adult; bounded, glossy pages full of imagery that I could peruse through.
There was, however, a slight change in my reading habits that included actual words on a page while I was writing in my early 20's. The more I read, the more I was inspired to write. I spent long bus rides commuting to work with my nose in a book and when I arrived at my reception desk, words just spilled out of me. After a short year, 2 novels were complete and, so it seemed, were my days of reading... until now.
Entering an airplane as a singular person, privacy is hard to come by, but I have a trick. Open a book, or in my case, a simple Kindle placed between my hands, eye’s fixed. It’s the perfect procedure to fend off any unwanted questions like, “Are you from here?” or “Traveling for work?” or the invasive, “What are your plans when we land?”
Waiting at the airport, short flights on planes or 6-hour drives to Seattle, not to mention sleepless nights spent on the road, led me back, back to reading. And boy have I devoured books like never before. Here are just a few of my favorites from the past few months:
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion- This heartbreaking account of Didion’s bereavement is written in a clinical manner that is so raw and melancholy, it made me question our modern-day way of thinking regarding the mourning process, “Be strong and get over it!” She unfolds the development of grieving, unlike nothing I have read before.
Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion- This one was so good I ordered the kindle and audio versions. Didion writes about California like no other, in fact, I would say she damn near owns the territory! This collection of essays will pull you into the disorder of California in the 60’s where Didion shares her observations of hippies and irreverence for writing itself. Note: Although Diane Keaton has one of the best narrative voices around and is a Californian, for some reason she mispronounces several California towns. Hmmm.
White Oleander By Janet Fitch- A beautiful story of a young orphaned girl whose mother is imprisoned for murdering an ex-lover. Fitch has a writing style that is dark, sensitive and haunting. The audio version of this is read by Oprah Winfrey. Bonus: Oprah saying, “f***” was so alarming and wonderful at the same time.
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris- Just funny! I have this one in both book and audio form. David Sedaris reads his own stories and there’s nothing like hearing the authors inflections and elf-like voice.
Definition: The word pogonip is a meteorological term used to describe an uncommon occurrence: frozen fog. The word was coined by Native Americans to describe the frozen fogs of fine ice needles that occur in the mountain valleys of the western United States in December.
Native tradition says breathing in this fog can injure your lungs. Could that be true?
Source: The Farmer's Almanac
She is free in her wildness, she is a wanderess, a drop of free water. She knows nothing of borders and cares nothing for rules or customs. 'Time' for her isn’t something to fight against. Her life flows clean, with passion, like fresh water.
- Roman Payne