Being very taken with Karen Houle’s one book, I got the next one I saw too. Longfellow’s sweated in my hand from binding on and since I set immediately to read it in the store, I knew we couldn’t leave separately. I kept meaning to get The Golden Mean because I’m curious on what all she did in the historical biography of Aristotle. What she read from at Writers Fest a few years ago sounded good.
Brautigan’s had a good title and opening it, enjoyed every random page I opened to. Ivan Coyote’s writing I enjoy wherever I find it.
Listening Below the Noise sounded intriguing, and it skimmed as poetically written. It seems to have a tone like The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating. Which I read twice. It’s described at comparable to Gift from the Sea which I enjoyed.
How do we move except from what we know to where we might go?
Expectation and commerce. How does one direct either for oneself, let alone others.
A common phrase in the extended family is “this might be worth something” which is an odd way to greet my possession. If I didn’t value it already, why would I have it? It is worth something. Why would one’s first thought be selling a teddy bear?
What a thing’s value is depends on subjective things. While at the bookstore someone came in with a box or two of books. Actually several people did but this one wasn’t interested in credit or cash value. Holding a book to his chest he said, can I trade you those for this one?
A fair deal is one that makes everyone happy. It’s not weighed by someone else’s market value or by weight.
While visiting mom, she cast a look at my sandals, which admittedly are in a sorry enough state that I can even get embarrassed by them. They’re stained and can’t close because a buckle broke off. They wick up water because the rubber that remains and isn’t flapping off the sole is worn off. She didn’t say a word. She walked to the other room, came back and threw $100 at my lap. Go get yourself some decent shoes, she said. That should get you started at least.
So I tell her? I went to Giant Tiger. The shoes were regular $12 ["Compare at $26" – not that they ever sold them for that price. They'd just like to float that as a pleasant concept.] I paid $3 for my new shoes, and $3.69 chocolate for a bar of Lindt. I feel like a bad citizen for disobeying the law that says better citizens spend more to keep the upward economic spiral spinning. And the consumer guilt that says either products are priced impossibly low compared to the number of labourers and miles traveled. But shoot. But shoes.
Some people go and judge by shoes as quick metric. Not that my mother usually does but that level of tatty is hard to miss. But I know prejudgement exists. It’s not that I aim to receive it, I’m just stuck with a intractable failure to care about something so trivial as shoes.
I know it would be in my own best interest to toe some lines even that don’t matter.
When I do the same act it may be seen differently depending on how I do it. For example, when I take notes at a poetry reading, I have had people come up and praise me for paying so close attention. If I do it on paper. If I take paper notes, the reader may be gratified or people around me. But should I take my notes on my machine, I’m shot sharp looks. I’ve had people come up to me to correct me afterwards for being inattentive. It’s presumed I’m checking email or something. I’m taking the same notes either way. But what can you do?
People want what they want, value what they value, see what they see. And do what they do regardless.
Quote: “A person who is gifted sees the essential point and leaves the rest as surplus.” ~ Thomas Carlyle