A Book, A Movie, A Sale and A Poem
Spring has slowly wafted down upon The House of Edward like a feather from the bluebird now sitting in my hemlock tree. The dawn chorus is symphonic and Edward is constantly distracted on his afternoon walks by the myriad of captivating smells rising up from the wakening ground. There are more shades of green in the forest that in any artist’s palette. It is a season of newness - new life, new beauty, new hope - and in the spirit of that newness, I’m tickled to share with you some new discoveries.
I hope you enjoy them.
Readers have a lot in common with one another. For instance, we all recognize the thrill that’s felt whenever we close our latest book, because this means we get to choose another. There’s always a flutter of excitement when we find ourselves in this situation, for whenever we explore a new bookshelf we are actually on an expedition of sorts, every colorful spine we see is a ticket for mental travel. Do we want a journey to other lands, where everything from the climate to the language is exotic and enthralling? Perhaps we long to be wooed by a stranger, someone we meet on a train to work, someone with secrets too dark to imagine. Or maybe we want to follow an amateur detective as she attempts, against all good sense and the advice of her friends, to solve a murder most grotesque. Occasionally we may long to read through an exceptionally adventurous cookbook, planning dinner parties and Sunday lunches to last us all summer long. That is the joy, and the delicious responsibility, of selecting a new book; it will take us out of ourselves, anywhere we wish to go.
In my experience it is a rare thing to open a book and be whisked away to someplace entirely unique, high up on the magic carpet of an author’s wild imagination that rises and falls over a story like nothing I’ve ever read before. This was the experience I had recently reading the new book, Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders. Outlandish, funny, heartbreaking, frightening, challenging, unsettling - the adjectives I could use to describe this book would most likely be longer than the book itself. Suffice it to say, I was surprised and awestruck by what I found and it’s stayed with me for weeks.
You might want to give it a try when you close the one you’re reading now.
It’s almost one year to the day that I was wandering the moors outside Haworth in West Yorkshire. I’d come for a Brontë pilgrimage, something I had longed to do since I read Jane Eyre at thirteen years old. (I wrote about this journey in the autumn issue of Faerie Magazine. You can now download that issue for free HERE. ) Experiencing this land the Brontë sisters knew so intimately was awe-inspiring. Just standing in their front garden, listening to the rooks in the trees that stand like sentinels over the cemetery and feeling the strong push of the wind roaring down from the moors was akin to stepping inside the pages of their atmospheric novels. I’ll never forget it.
Feeling so close to the story of the Brontë sisters, I was naturally a bit suspicious when I heard a new version of their lives was being filmed. They haven’t faired well in the past when this has been attempted. Having silently wandered the rooms of the Brontë parsonage and walked the moors in their footsteps certainly did not lighten my doubtful concern over this new production. But how delighted I was when I saw it. To Walk Invisible is magnificent. The Songwriter and I watched it in near reverence, so wonderful was the portrayal of the family.
I was especially fond of the way Emily’s life was illuminated here. Not much is known about Emily Brontë other than her brilliant writing and because of this a great deal has been invented about her. It’s true that she took care of the majority of the domestic duties in the household and she did refuse to accompany her sisters, Charlotte and Anne, when they journeyed to London to visit their publishers. But from these scant facts, Emily has been doomed to be thought of as almost painfully timid, a scared little rabbit content to stay home. But this has never squared with her masterful writing in Wuthering Heights, a book so dark and dramatic it stunned and shocked the critics. In this new production, however, Emily is a force to be reckoned with, someone with more than enough soul and grit to fill the pages of that book. To Walk Invisible is a masterpiece, and you should see it if you haven’t.
I am currently making room in my office for some new things to feature in my Etsy Shop. So, all the beautiful pillows currently there are half off until the end of the month.
Just use the code EDWARDSPRING
April is National Poetry Month here in the states, something that I feel inclined to celebrate with gusto. To that end, I am attempting to share some of my favorite poems, one each night of April, on my Instagram page. Truth and wisdom can hide in the lines and verses of poems and I frequently turn to them whenever I find myself in need of comfort. I’ve been reading them a lot this year.
Here’s one I recently shared, and one that I love with all my heart.
I hope you find something within it to stick in your pocket.
The Peace of Wild Things
by Wendell Berry
When despair grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
*** A note of apology for my recent lack of postings. I'm currently in the process of writing some new things and find I only have enough brain cells to concentrate on one thing at a time before I go squirrelly. I'll try to do better. You can always catch up on Edward and me, as well as all the poems for April, (and come along on my upcoming trip to London!) at our Instagram page... HERE.***