I am often burdened by abundance. I am surrounded by books but I need to focus on one book at a time. Right now I am reading Vivian Gornick’s Approaching Eye Level published in 1996. (I am thankful for the librarian, one or more, that thought it worthy to save. I read a recent review of a book, since forgotten, that referred to this book. At the library where I work, people get rid of books with reckless abandon. 2009, way too old for some of my co-workers, regardless of what is in the book and who wrote it.
Fortunately, I work in a library system with 37 branches and can usually find one copy. But not always. Books are not valued equally by all. I still love them, old or new, and only the lack of space or poor condition gets me to “weed.” Not all librarians love books. That’s what I am finding out.. How very disappointing.
Gornick’s book sparkles and crackles with energy, passion, and insight, even 24 years later. How grateful I am for it, and for the way it connects to my life even now. She is a thinker, a reader, a writer, an observer, and someone whose wry wit connects to my own. Whether it is the streets of New York City, working in the Catskills, or the extended explanation of what feminism means and how it finally made sense to her, her writing shines. She writes about living alone, and about her relationship/mentorship with an author whose work she admired. As a writer with aspirations for book publishing and essay writing, I need to read people like her that show me the way.
It’s been a while. It’s end of April 2019 and I moved 1700 miles away to live in the land of alligators snakes toads and frogs. Scattering lizards under bushes. Massive palm leaves fall in my front yard as big as a large baseball bat and as heavy. People are… not nice, on the whole. On I -95 the drivers seem to be practicing for NASCAR and don’t seem too concerned about crashes. There’s a lack of authenticity, and a rush to get someplace fun. Also it takes so much money to survive here…..how do people without jobs make it? I sold my sweet bungalow in Ky.
I’m often looking for the best place to think about my life. Sometimes a table in a library near a window is the place. Sometimes a soft chair at Starbucks. Anywhere I can fade into the background and think.
It’s become even more important since I became a job-hunter for a living. Possibilities of a new life loom in each application. Should I move to Alaska, Hawaii, Ireland, or just across the country to Wyoming, a place I’ve never been.
As an unmoored adult, without obligations or life absorbing responsibilities, I often feel like I’m floating. Some days I’m happy with it. Other days I long to be tied down in every way possible…..My dog it seems, is stuck with me, a woman who leaves at a moment’s notice, away from his demand to go outside or have just one more treat.
Tomorrow I fly to Seattle, one of my favorite places. It’s been a long time since I’ve been there, but I now have good friends that live there, and I’m going to a job interview on Tuesday.
I have been fantasizing about living there. I know it’s expensive, but might it not be good, still, because of the arts and cultural offerings? I know how to live simply in expensive places; I’ve done it before (California, anyone?) and it hasn’t been that bad.
What I love is the adventure of a new place, having lots of restaurants and fresh seafood available, and , of course, independent bookstores. I hope Elliot Bay Books is still around, and I hope the Pike Place Market is thriving. I’m looking forward to the experience, and I am always up for a good trip. This one is a good five days so I should have lots of time to explore. My friends moved there about a year ago, and their kids, Gabe and Olivia, became my good friends in a lonely time. I worked with Gabe on reading, and he’s now two grade levels ahead of his grade! I feel so good about that. He’s also the best 9 year old walking buddy and philospher around. Be good to reconnect with him, and his parents Bridget and Nate.
Welcome to my blog. I have discovered that I am better served by moving than staying in one spot…..and my life has been just that. The picture above is the Dingle Peninsula, part of a trip to Ireland that I took last September. I am longing to be back there.