Comforts While Drinking Hot Chocolate

1. I’m in the middle of Island of the World by the talented Michael O’Brien. It’s a deep, riveting story. I’m always amazed when a novelist makes his character write. I noticed and was fascinated by that skill first a long time ago when I read Emily of New Moon. And now in this book, when it has a fragment of the main character’s notebook, it takes me aback because O’Brien has to write doubly, and write in another kind of personae. I think a novelist like him must have an enormous soul. Other snippets of another of his books are here and here.

It is called the “chambered nautilus.” Nature’s powers are so endlessly ingenious that one must take care not to assume one knows where its outermost (and innermost) frontiers are located. –from Josip’s notebook

2. Pinterest is to me like a cozy blanket at the end of the day. A bit of humor, comfort, inspiration. Not every night, but almost, I treat myself to checking what came into my feed that day. There are women who  sneer at it, and others who deal with depression and envy because of it. That’s not Pinterest’s fault. For me, it’s a tool and a breath of new air that gives me ideas. I control the boards I follow and  when one has too much sarcasm or home dec or fussy hand-made cards, I unfollow it. (Yes, how did that word become a verb?)

I cannot put into words how it soothes  my soul to do something with my hands. During and after a season of dark depression, when most everything else in my life was unpredictable and uncontrollable, (or isn’t that all of life?) my fingers did something with paint or pen or paper or an onion, and the medium did what I asked it to, and the result lightened me as nothing else can. It wasn’t about controlling the medium; it was about finding and creating something that hadn’t existed before and having a little more beauty in the world as a result.

Beauty has many layers. Life is, it seems, about unwrapping those layers.

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