Books of Attention

I came across a book that I thought would make a perfect gift to my husband, and so an early Birthday present of the Nook digital edition: A Place of My Own: The Education of an Amateur Builder, by Michael Pollan. Al’s excited to pick up a carpentry project he’s left on the back burner for the past ten years. Starting to do measuring and research for the building: size, position on our lot, city ordinances, &c. Some ups and downs, but he’s settling in to actually do this thing, and I believe that he will make it through the project. He hungers for the experience of planning and building the structure himself, loving the feel of working with the wood, the creation of another work of art.

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It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond, by Julia Cameron, was released on 19 April 2016. Reading the sampler preview, I got enthused also, but about regrounding again and becoming aware of my direction and talents at this stage of my life. I’ve enjoyed Cameron’s work, even though frustrated at times on her insistence on doing things in a manner that I cannot do. (That would be Morning Pages done by hand, and a solo Artist date, each week, as well as the daily solitary walk.) I still don’t have a solution to the solitary activities, but I do recognize that the computer is a better tool for me than handwriting. I spent a number of years working on penmanship (my mother studied the Parker Method and taught me, at least, and perhaps some of the rest of the children), and I also worked on and at calligraphy, doing some works for hire along the way. I can get lost in the way in which I form letters and will alter what I am saying according to which words/letter combinations I want to do just then. But also I am allergic to many paper types, and I still have a fairly large rough spot, even after all these years, on the side of my hand where it rubbed against the paper as I wrote.  (And, yes, I do read digital editions in order to limit my exposure to paper and ink of books that have not finished out-gassing.)

Anyway, I once more junked the idea of giving away the piano. I realized that I wanted to get rid of the piano because I am angry, frustrated and bewildered by my inability to play it. But most of that is due to having been ill for most of the past five years, no energy to expend on it, and also because of the seepage in the basement that resulted in turning the living room into a storage space. I have not been able until just this past week (following Spring Clean-up Week) been able to make and establish a path to the piano, which resides at the far wall. And, with new puppies, I have an opportunity to accustom themselves to listening to me play piano without howling until their little throats are sore.

Time to quit feeling angry, frustrated, afraid, embarrassed, &c. and just go ahead and do this thing. Because what I always have loved most by quite a margin is the depth of power in the physical motion and process of playing the piano. An electronic keyboard is not going to do that for me.

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