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Showing posts from November, 2022


I'm not adventurous. And I've never desired to be interesting nor mysterious.  As a young girl I dreamt of living in a cottage near a gentle stream. I'd write stories and teach my sixteen children how to play baseball. I'd knit their stocking and sew their dresses and trousers. We'd wear embroidered linen aprons to butcher chickens and can okra pickles. The idea of adventure would bore us.  "Out of all my siblings," I complained to my friend. "How am the one considered to be adventurous?"  Naturally she laughed at me. "Because you are..."  "Not by choice. Don't you remember how all of my siblings, but I loved moving from house to house? Yet they are the ones who are most at home now."  Back then I feared change and hated stepping outside whatever front door we happened to live behind. I spent most of my childhood years praying we wouldn't make the worst move of all... to Montana or Alaska.  One could say that perhaps t

After Grief Comes Nostalgia (a travel update)

I don't feel boredom. I'm recovering from an addiction to anxiety (so I've been drawing faces onto my toes) After a steady workaholic season I decided it was time to get on the road again. This time indefinitely and with less structure than before. I basically won't come home until I've danced in Tennessee, and hopefully l'll return with twenty-five feet of tatted lace.  I will most likely stay on the road longer than that. I need to learn to hold onto something (faith). And I need to prepare myself for some big changes.  My first destination was a family reunion in Oklahoma. But first I organized a hike with a random assortment of Colorado friends (they did not know each other).  We did a lot of car camping and caravanning for the weekend there. We tried to visit a small cult I love, but that didn't work out. I found a beautiful café and saw googly eyes on construction cones. But this lower picture is from some bathroom in Co

The Narrow Straight Into Darkness

Written a long time ago Walk the narrow straight.  It's not so straight, but it's narrow. No room for a companion. No guardrails for when I feel weak. My strength is ebbing. I am drowning in a moving circling current, unable to float into freedom.  What does it mean to let go of someone you love?  I know I mustn't cut him out of my life. I know I mustn't hate him. How could I? My heart aches because I love him so much and don't know how to be merely a friend.  A friend? I wait. I grow. I pray. I gave him my heart... he said, "Thank you for your vulnerability. Let me hold it for a bit. Never mind. It bores me."  Oddly, he never returned my gift. How could he? How can a heart be returned or taken back? How can fire be unkindled? Passion must burn its course until it dies.  * * * "What do you want to do with your life," a man asks a girl.  "I want to forget all of my dreams save the ones that might add sparkles to your life," t

Wendell Berry's Jayber Crow (And Sometimes Hannah Coulter)

Book Review of Jayber Crow (and sometimes of Hannah Coulter ) Contains spoilers Wendell Berry is best known for his essays and poetry, but I have begun with his novels, great literary works about a small Kentucky town called Port William, and the community who consider themselves Port William's membership.  I read Hannah Coulter first, a sweet and somewhat scandalous novel about a simple young woman who grows up to be a happy wife and mother, and then at last a reflective and welcoming old woman. It was one of those books that felt good to read. The prose was poignant. The story meant many things, like a well-spiced apple pie does, rich in texture. I wanted to savor it forever, and yet was glad to live after having finished reading such a book.  And so, I began  Jayber Crow, considered to be one of Berry's best novels.  At the start I loved it more than Hannah Coulter. We are introduced to Jayber, a barber who loves his clients and their stories, who comes and goes

Character Comparison: Jane Eyre and Anna Karenina

Comparison of the novels Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë and Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy Contains spoilers By Keturah Lamb, July 9, 2022 Jane Eyre is feisty and not very pretty, so we are told. But we fall in love with a little girl who has a sensitive heart willing to forgive those who torment her and to pray for them. The plot quickly turns away from the wit and misfortune of a Jane Austen type story and we see a foreshadowing of all the dark, sordid things ahead when Jane is locked in a room where she believes to see a red demon.  Anna Karenina makes quite the first impression. She is beautiful, elegant, but above all she sees those around her and all feel known and loved by her. In her first scene we witness Anna missing her son, but she is here to save her brother’s marriage. She exhorts her sister-in-law to forgive. It is a touching dialogue, and despite all that will follow I believe this to be Anna’s greatest work. The brother’s marriage is saved, the wife forgives