21 September 2011

Revives My Soul Again

Last night, shortly after 10pm, I finished Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. You may say big deal, many people have read that little 247 page jewel of a novel - and you would be right. I mention it because it was the second real effort at reading the book in the last five years. I tried to read it shortly after my father died but the book's theme was too much. I bet I got through at least 60 pages, but when I started it over this time I couldn't remember one iota from my previous attempt. This time was different. God bless you please, Ms. Robinson.

I am amazed at how Robinson was able to create the John Ames character. How did she create him with such detail? How many elderly preachers did she sit with before she wrote? How in the world did she get an Iowan cadence down on paper? (Yeah, I loved the book). After I put it down I wanted to write a similar book myself, not for my son but in the voice of my father writing the book for me. I would love to reconstruct his life from the memories he shared with me.

In other news...

As I mentioned the other day I am now on a sort of sabbatical. I am reading and writing but I am also trying to find something to do with myself during the day. I have hooked up with a landscaper. After the first day I realized (and I know this is going to be difficult for the non-preaching folk out there) that there are certain muscle groups and body motions that preachers just do not use on a regular basis.

I love to garden, but this is gardening on a massive scale; this is moving trees, and filling up pick up trucks with debris, and planting 30 bushes. Despite the soreness and aches I am finding the work to be very therapeutic. It is amazing how much frustration one can get rid of by weeding, trimming, shoveling, and pruning plants. It is also amazing how sharp, aggressive and down right nasty the thorns on a lemon tree are!

Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!

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