Category Archives: Poetry

currently … wrapping up christmas

Christmas Eve - presents

Christmas Eve, 2015

Currently
It’s our last night of our Christmas vacation in Philly. We’ve been here just shy of a week, enjoying a nice balance of seeing family and friends (usually over brunch or dinner) while also having some downtime (usually spent reading or writing).  It’s always impossible to fit in everyone who we’d like to see and all we’d like to do, but I think it worked out well this time.

Tomorrow’s a travel day back to the “Burgh, then I’m off on Tuesday. Whenever possible, I try to give myself a “re-entry day” on the tail end of these trips. It’s back to work on Wednesday — along with one final dentist appointment this year to use up some insurance dollars — before another few remaining vacation days segue into a long weekend.

Christmas Reading

Like FamilyRDear Mr. You

I admit, I’m scrambling to meet my goal of 52 books read in 2015.  Right now, my tally is 47 (much lower than previous years).  This may be attainable if I stick to shorter books, but I’m not sure.

Reading short books was my strategy for this trip.  So far on this vacation, I’ve read one —Like Family by Paolo Giordano. I was so excited to see this one at the library because I loved (but, sadly, didn’t review) his previous novel, The Solitude of Prime Numbers.  I really liked this new one, which I breezed through in a few hours (if that). Told in flashback and set in Italy, it’s about a couple who hire a housekeeper, Mrs. A., to help out during a difficult pregnancy and who stays on as a nanny for several years. After Mrs. A. is diagnosed with cancer, she decides to leave the household abruptly. The book, then, is about how she has changed the course of the couple’s marriage and their lives.

Right now I’m reading Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker, which is incredibly well-written and very likely to be on my favorites list. This exactly the reason why I usually don’t post my best-of lists before year’s end; this time of year often brings more opportunities than usual to read and more often than not, something I read while we finish up this trip around the sun surprises and delights me.  Dear Mr. You is going to be that book. The concept is fantastic: it’s structured as a collection of letters that Ms. Parker has written to each of the significant men in her life.

Christmas Not Reading …
For the past few years, I’ve enjoyed spending part of Christmas week with a holiday-themed story. The timing of this needs to be carefully considered and calibrated; I don’t like to start this particular book much before Christmas Eve and I like to be finished by the day after Christmas. This started in 2011 when I reviewed A Clockwork Christmas, a collection of four steampunk tales.

A Christmas Carol was my 2012 selection, followed by The Chimes last year. (I’m not sure what happened in 2013. Maybe A Christmas Carol again, I don’t know.)  I wasn’t impressed with The Chimes, and I was even less enamored with this year’s selection, The Cricket on the Hearth. Slightly less than halfway through this one, there was still no sign of Christmas in Dickens’ long-winded and discombobulated narrative.  This happened to be one of my Classics Club selections, too (although not the one for this most recent spin), so I’ll probably replace it with something.

Christmas Listening …
Between wrapping gifts and a few bouts of insomnia, I’ve been listening to more podcasts than usual. Here are some of the best:

The Writer’s Almanac: “The Meeting” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (12/25/2015)
Such a perfect poem for Christmas when you’re missing someone special.

Burnt Toast: “Someone Put a Diaper on the Turkey” (12/17/2015)
Listeners’ stories of hilarious holiday disasters involving food.

New Yorker Poetry: Ellen Bass Reads Adam Zagajewski (12/16/2015)
Adam Zagajewski’s poem “Try to Praise the Mutilated World” resonated with me.

On Being: Martin Sheen: Spirituality of Imagination (12/16/2015)
Fantastic interview with actor and activist Martin Sheen about his spirituality.

“Yeah, the love that I longed for, and I think all of us really long for, is knowing that we are loved. A knowingness about our being that unites us to all of humanity, to all of the universe. That despite ourselves, we are loved. And when you realize that, and you embrace that, you begin to look at everyone else and you can see very clearly who in your vision knows they’re loved and who does not. And that makes all the difference. And I began to give thanks and praise for that love. You know how, so often, people say they go on this journey — and I said it, too — that “I’m looking for God.” But God has already found us, really. We have to look in the spot where we’re least likely to look, and that is within ourselves. And when we find that love, that presence, deep within our own personal being — and it’s not something that you can earn, or something that you can work towards. It’s just a realization of being human, of being alive, of being conscious. And that love is overwhelming. And that is the basic foundation of joy. And we become enviable joyful. And then we see it in others, and we seek to ignite that love in others. You can’t do it. You can’t force someone to realize they’re loved, but you can show them.” – Martin Sheen

The Moth Podcast: Eve Plumb and The Pittsburgh StorySLAM (12/15/2015) 
Eve Plumb (you know her as Jan Brady) is hilarious in this episode of The Moth where she shares stories about her childhood on and off the set of The Brady Bunch, and her relationship with her mother. In another story (not involving Eve Plumb or Jan Brady), a slideshow of photos intended for an audience of two winds up being shown at a family gathering.

Christmas Shopping …
The Husband, The Girl, and I all received some great books for Christmas — and The Girl and I went on a little bit of a shopping spree (thanks to her Christmas cash burning a hole in her pocket) at two local independent bookstores.  I need to wrap up this post, though, and get to bed, so I’ll plan on doing that recap separately.

Anticipating … 
I can’t believe this is the last Sunday Salon/Currently for 2015!  I really like doing these posts (even though they tend to take me forever) and in looking back over my blogging this year, oftentimes they’ve been the only posts I’ve written in a particular week.  I’m hoping to remedy that in 2016.

In addition to the book haul from this week, I have a few other fun posts planned.  Hope your holidays were good ones and that you have a great last week of 2015!

a few things i’m doing

This thing called Life is kickin’ our collective asses around here lately. Maybe I’ll be able to write about it sometime, but for right now, in the midst of the muck, there are a few things I need to keep off the blog.  In between the hits, though, I’m finding myself in need of a few distractions … which, as we know, is the reason why we have The Internet.

Fortunately, all kinds of cool things are happening in the online world this fall.  Here’s what I’m doing to try and forget about Life for awhile.

Autumn-2015-Pin-it-and-Do-it-Challenge

My blogging friend Trish of Love, Laughter and (a touch of) Insanity is bringing back her fun Pin It and Do It Challenge for September and October. For whatever reason, I’ve recently re-discovered Pinterest, and this challenge will be a little kick in the pants for me to do some projects, try some new recipes, make some blog improvements and who knows what else.  Go to Trish’s blog for the official sign up, follow me on Pinterest, and have fun pinning and doing.

Bloggiesta-F15

Speaking of blog improvements and whatnot, look what starts today – besides the first day of the planet Mercury losing its collective shit AGAIN and spinning the hell out of control in retrograde, that is. (Because, you know, I really need THAT nonsense right now.)  Bloggiesta is back, baby, and the Fall 2015 edition is happening now.

I really like this multi-day Bloggiesta format. I’m hoping to use this go-around to take care of a few housekeeping duties here on the blog. Not quite sure what, exactly, as a lot depends on how the week goes. I’m supposed to write an official Bloggiesta to do list as part of my participation post (which I guess this is), so we’ll keep it the same as all the other Bloggiestas I’ve done:

1) catch up on book reviews (and other posts) and
2) update the Book Reviews page here on the blog.

RIP X - 2015

image used with permission, property of Abigail Larson.

It’s September, and that means the return of the book blogging community’s beloved R.I.P. Reading Challenge. Short for R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril, this annual challenge created by Carl of Stainless Steel Droppings is being hosted this year – the 10th! – by the wonderful Andi and Heather of The Estella Society. You can find all the R.I.P. details here.  I’m planning to participate in Peril the Second which means I’ll be reading two books of any length that fit within the R.I.P. categories (that includes mystery, suspense, horror, thriller, gothic, dark fantasy, supernatural types of reads and the like).

ripnineperilsecond

ripnineperilshort

I’m not sure what books I’ll be reading for this year’s R.I.P. This might be one of those years where I make it up as we go.  Right now, I’m in the midst of The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton, which seems to qualify. It definitely has the suspenseful, creepy factor. And I haven’t ruled out doing Peril the Short Story either because I am all about the short stories, yo.

Finally, thanks to the magic of Coursera and FutureLearn, I’m enrolled in four MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) right now:

Plagues, Witches and War: The World of Historical Fiction through the University of Virginia;
William Wordsworth: Poetry, People and Place through Lancaster University, in the UK;
Modern and Contemporary American Poetry (known as ModPo, for short), with the University of Pennsylvania.
Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance (with Monash University and which started on Monday but I haven’t shown up for class yet).

Like everything else, I’ll find my way there, albeit with a few side trips en route.

tools

 

Poetry can be like a time machine, one where the words have the power to instantly send you traveling at lightning speed decades back in time while simultaneously illuminating your present.

Such was the case this morning with the work of local poet and English instructor Fred Shaw, whose poem “The Toolbox” appears in today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  It resonated because it transported me back to the tools I grew up with: my Dad’s toolbench in a small workshop in our house, my Grandpop Middleman’s tools in their basement.

Today happens to be 25 years exactly since we lost my grandfather, I later realized. I had to look it up; out of all the many death anniversaries date-stamped in my mind, this is one that I tend to forget. (“There’s someone – a male – who has passed who was kind of quiet, who isn’t always at the top of the list of those you memorialize,” a psychic once told me. “He wants you to know he’s still with you, too.”)  His once-stenciled name has faded to a smudge. 

A few things in this life of ours need some fixing. It’s been … well … finding the right tools has been challenging.

I don’t have the instructions on how to use these tools, if indeed I ever did.

I don’t even know which tools I need.

The lesson I take from him:

find the proper tools for the job,

identify what works

from what is missing.

Your words ring so true today, Fred Shaw. I thank you.

 

 

Readin’at: Divine Nothingness, Poems by Gerald Stern

Divine NothingnessDivine Nothingness: Poems by Gerald Stern
W.W. Norton & Company
2014 
112 pages 

One of my very favorite poems is “Lucky Life” by Gerald Stern, born and raised in Pittsburgh and now living in Lambertville, New Jersey.  It is somewhat embarrassing for me to have discovered this well-known poem only two years ago – I mean, it was published in 1977 – but discover it I did while spending some time down at the Jersey shore. It found me at exactly the most perfect time, as if he was writing directly to me. I thought about it during our vacation this year and I’ve thought about it several times during the last few weeks.

It’s one of those poems that describes exactly what fellow treasured Pittsburgh poet Toi Derricote means when she says, “Gerald Stern has made an immense contribution to American poetry. His poems are not only great poems, memorable ones, but ones that get into your heart and stay there. ”

How could they not, with lines like these?

“Dear waves, what will you do for me this year?
Will you drown out my scream?
Will you let me rise through the fog?
Will you fill me with that old salt feeling?
Will you let me take my long steps in the cold sand?
Will you let me lie on the white bedspread and study
the black clouds with the blue holes in them?
Will you let me see the rusty trees and the old monoplanes one more year?
Will you still let me draw my sacred figures
and move the kites and the birds around with my dark mind?

Lucky life is like this. Lucky there is an ocean to come to.
Lucky you can judge yourself in this water.
Lucky you can be purified over and over again.
Lucky there is the same cleanliness for everyone.
Lucky life is like that. Lucky life. Oh lucky life.
Oh lucky lucky life. Lucky life.”
~ from “Lucky Life” by Gerald Stern

Love that. And words like these are what made me pick up Divine Nothingness, Gerald Stern’s latest collection of poetry, published last November.

Divine NothingnessAt 90, this is Gerald Stern’s seventeenth poetry collection and there is a definite sense of the passage of time. Divided into three simple parts (perhaps to symbolize childhood, adulthood, and the final years of life? or a nod to Pittsburgh itself in “Three Stages in My Hometown,” one of the poems contained within?) Divine Nothingness contains the reflections of a life – the places and people and experiences while growing up in Pittsburgh and then, eventually, living in central New Jersey.

This is the third poetry collection of Gerald Stern’s that I have read and I felt he connected more with his reader (at least this one)  much more here in Divine Nothingness than he did in Everything Is Burning (2006) or Save the Last Dance (2008). These poems seem much more accessible.

Although I’m an East Coast girl born and bred (including some time living in central New Jersey for what amounted to the equivalent time it takes to sneeze) it’s no surprise that the visages of a Pittsburgh long gone were the ones that came to life for me in these poems.

“…and who and what we were we couldn’t exactly
tell for we were covered in soot and hopped
away from the heat like hot dancers 
for we were creating flames for those on the mountain 
who drove up the steep sides to see the view 
and took their visitors with them so they could express
their gratitude.” 
(“Hell” Jones & Laughlin)

There are the places of this life (‘so let me take you back to the meadow/ where the sidewalks suddenly become a river …”) and the people (“There was a way I could find out if Ruth/ were still alive but it said nothing about/ her ’46 Mercury nor how the gear shift ruined/ our making love ….”) of particular moments experienced during a time gone by. A segue into an acceptance of life’s finality and the self that is left behind.

“…and, like him – like everybody – I scribble words
on the back of envelopes and for that reason
and for two others which I’m too considerate to mention 
I’ll be around when you’re gone.”
(from “I’ll Be Around”) 


n’at:
Pittsburghese for “and so forth,” “et cetera,” “and so on.”

readin’at:
My occasional blog feature celebrating all things literary as it relates to Pittsburgh and the Western Pennsylvania region. Here, I talk ‘Burgh-focused books (and review them), literary events, upcoming readings, author interviews and profiles, new releases …n’at.

sunday salon: heat

The Sunday Salon

It’s a scorcher today, the kind of humidity-laden weather that brings with it heat indexes in the triple-digits.  The Husband tells me that said heat index is 110 in our native Philadelphia today and I’ve heard it is only slightly less than that here in Pittsburgh. This, in the midst of a summer that has been very much the opposite of baked days.

Divine NothingnessCoincidentally or not, I’ve just finished a work-related blog post about Divine Nothingness, Pittsburgh-born and current Lambertville, NJ resident Gerald Stern’s latest poetry collection. Among the excerpts I was trying to work into that particular post was “Hell,” which is about a different kind of heat.

“…and who and what we were we couldn’t exactly
tell for we were covered in soot and hopped
away from the heat like hot dancers
for we were creating flames for those on the mountain 
who drove up the steep sides to see the view
and took their visitors with them so they could express
their gratitude …” 
~ from “Hell: Jones and Laughlin” by Gerald Stern

My strenuous output today has been limited to an early morning trip to ALDI for the week’s grocery shopping; at 9 a.m., it was already sweltering and my heat-induced sinus headache/soon-to-be migraine has been raging all day. I’m grateful for central air-conditioning and a chance to stay indoors piddling around on the computer, catching up on blogs and preparing some posts for the week, and listening to some music.

It hasn’t been a particularly busy weekend. I had to work yesterday morning and even though the event itself wasn’t difficult – it was a very enjoyable celebration, actually – afterwards I was so exhausted that I came home and promptly fell asleep for three hours. My sleep patterns are out of whack; I’ve been waking up at 2 a.m. Sometimes I’m able to get back to sleep immediately and other nights it takes upwards of an hour or more.

Earlier this week, a big-name bestseller was sent to me for a freelance book review and I’ll probably take a crack at this one shortly. It is so far removed from my usual genres of choice that I almost declined this particular assignment but that’s not really an option at the moment. The more paying freelancing opportunities that come my way, the better.

To the LetterDoing so will mean temporarily interrupting my current read, which is To the Letter: A Celebration of the Lost Art of Letter Writing by Simon Garfield. I picked this one up from the library because of my nostalgia for letter-writing. It doesn’t seem all that long ago when, as a teenager, I would spend summer days like this one in my room writing long letters to numerous pen pals near and far. Part of me misses the writing and receiving of those heartfelt letters, very much. Our Souls at Night

Between podcasts, I’ve been listening to Our Souls at Night on audio. (I saw a print version at the library yesterday and snagged it, so I may switch over to that.) It’s bittersweet that this is Kent Haruf’s last book; it’s told such simply and with such feeling and I’m really liking this story of two people who are struggling with the long-term loneliness that can accompany the loss of loved ones.

What are you reading on this steamy Sunday?

Podcast of the Week: Episode 1, The Intro Post

Apple iPhone 6 - PDI

Photo Credit: Public Domain Archive; click through for source

 

Even though they’ve been around in some form or another for decades, suddenly I’ve discovered and gotten instantly addicted to podcasts. Within the past two weeks, I’ve gone from having no clue how to listen to one to subscribing to nearly 100 of them.

I’ve been curious about them for awhile, but it wasn’t until I was reading some Facebook updates after a local writers’ get-together that I’d missed (where podcasts were apparently a hot topic) that I thought this might be something I’d be interested in. These writers are very much in the know, super-intellectual and have their collective pulse on all things hip, cool, and especially literary.

I remembered that I had downloaded a podcast-listening app on my phone (at least that’s what I thought it did) so I played around with it. So far, so good … but it seemed clunky and then a podcast started stopping in mid-stream. And then another didn’t even start. And some downloads took longer than I expected. And then Heather of Capricious Reader wrote this post about Pocket Cast. Sold on the spot. Her recommendation was good enough for me.

She also compiled this fantastic list of bookish podcasts and then I knew there was no turning back.

Now I’m a complete podcast junkie. Bam – just like that. I haven’t listened to an audiobook in two weeks. I’ll go back to them; I’m just enjoying my new toys for a little while.

I want a way to share the interesting and enlightening podcasts I’ve been listening to, and to keep track of them like I do my books. I thought about including a mention in my Sunday Salon posts, but if there are more than a few I want to talk about, that would make for a very long post.

Hence, a new feature here on the blog:

Podcast of the Week.

(Original title there, eh?)

I’ll share at least one podcast from the past week (or two … whatever) that I particularly enjoyed. It won’t necessary be a podcast that was released (is that the right word?) during that particular week; I have a huge backlist I’m interested in. I’ll try to post these on Fridays or early in the weekend. It will also be a way for me to list all the podcasts I’ve listened to that week.

NYPL Podcast logoSo, without further ado, my selection for Podcast of the Week for 5/24-5/30 comes to us from the New York Public Library. On May 26, The NYPL Podcast featured author A.M. Homes talking with Matthew Weiner, creator, director, executive producer, and writer of “Mad Men.” The result, “Matthew Weiner on Don Draper’s Inner Life,” is a fascinating conversation about the show and much, much more.

Other Podcasts I Listened to This Week:

Books on the Nightstand
BOTNS#333: What the heck is cli-fi? (5/26)  Michael and Ann discussed “cli-fi,” which is short for “climate fiction” about books featuring a dramatic shift in the climate. 

Inside the New York Times Book Review
Shakespeare in Love (5/22)

The New Yorker Fiction:  Joshua Ferris Reads Robert Coover (5/1)
Novelist Joshua Ferris discusses the work of Robert Coover and reads Coover’s short story “Going for a Beer.

The New Yorker Poetry
Ada Limon Reads Jennifer L. Knox (5/20)
Robert Pinsky Reads Elizabeth Bishop (4/16)
I listened to both of these episodes when I was sick this week and hardly able to get out of bed. Turns out, listening to poetry when you’re sick is a rather comforting thing indeed. All of these poems presented on these two podcasts are FANTASTIC (“Pimp My Ride” by Jennifer L. Knox; “State Bird” by Ada Limon; “At the Fishhouses” by Elizabeth Bishop and “Shirt” by Robert Pinsky). Now, I want to read more by all of these poets. 

The Sporkful
You Suck at Drinking: A Guide to Buzz Management (5/25)
These guys (and Matthew Latkiewicz, author of  You Suck at Drinking) made me laugh with their strategies on ways to drink more without getting a quick buzz. Even funnier were their guidelines for how many drinks (and what kind) to have during certain events, like a loud birthday party for a child. 

A few more listens from last week:

Books on the Nightstand: BOTNS#332: Summer Reading Plans, Featuring the Return of BOTNS Bingo (5/19)
The BOTNS summer reading bingo sounds like fun, so I went ahead and downloaded my card. I have a great mix of categories that are challenging for me and ones that would have likely been among my summer reading anyway.

Death, Sex, and Money: Brooklyn Left Me Broke, But I Came Back (5/6)

Dear Sugar Radio: Episode 11: The Land of the In-Law (5/18)

Slate Magazine Daily Podcast: Ask a Teacher, Episode 5: Tough Questions (5/19)

LA Review of Books (LARB) Radio Hour: McSweeney’s Crowdfunding and Tommywood (and Meghan Daum recommending Bernard Cooper’s “My Avant-Garde Education” (5/21)

The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor – May Opens Wide, by Marge Piercy (5/22)
This show – along with Merriam-Webster’s word of the day – has become a fantastic way to start my day.

Adrian Cooke – Your Daily 10 Minute Meditation, Day 5: Relax (5/22)
I need to start building meditation into my routine. I love the idea of a daily 10 minute meditation podcast. I was really tense and stressed out last week over being sick and everything I wanted to be doing and couldn’t. This helped.

The New Yorker Out Loud: What Should a Museum Look Like? (5/18)
This was relevant to me because it relates to some current projects I have going on at work.

The Light Bulb: Roger Is Always Fine (5/18)
Another recap and analysis of “Mad Men” and how no matter what, Roger will always, always be fine.

If there’s any theme from this week’s listens, it’s that I clearly cannot get enough of that show.

Or podcasts.

Do you listen to podcasts? Tell me some of your favorites so I can add to my ever-growing list. 

 

Armchair BEA 2015: On Visual Expression and Thoughts from Yoko Ono

ArmchairBEA 2014

Armchair BEA is the experience for book bloggers to participate in Book Expo America (BEA) from the comfort of their homes. This experience is created lovingly by book bloggers specifically for our peers who for whatever reason are not able to participate in the main conference in New York each year. We bring publishers, authors, and bloggers together in celebrating our love for all things literary by hosting celebrations such as sneak peeks, daily discussion topics, and sponsored giveaways.

As one of my favorite book blogging events, I look forward to Armchair BEA every year; however, for various reasons, neither this event nor BEA itself  have been much on my radar lately.  We’ve been sick with a cluster of illnesses (pneumonia, bronchitis, the end-of-school-year inertia rendering both kids grumpy and miserable) making life a bit of a challenge during the last month – and especially this past week. I’m actually grateful I wasn’t planning on going to BEA (I’ve been to the Book Blogger Convention that was held as part of it in 2010 and again in 2011.)

Anyway, crazy times like these on the home front are when I crave short books, ones that I can read quickly and feel some sense of control and accomplishment. Today’s Armchair BEA topic, Visual Expression, fits with that.

There are so many ways to tell stories. Whether it’s comic books, graphic novels, visual novels, webcomics, etc, there are quite a lot of other mediums to tell a story. On this day, we will be talking about those books and formats that move beyond just words and use other ways to experience a story.

Now, comics and graphic novels are not my thing. Granted, I haven’t read many of them, but for whatever reason – probably the same ones that made me dislike cartoons when I was a kid – they just don’t hold that much appeal for me.

So, because I was focused on the comics bit, it was a bit of a struggle to think what I’ve recently read, am interested in reading, or what I could recommend that fits this category of visual expression. And then I remembered a little book I recently read:  Acorn, by Yoko Ono.

(Yes, that Yoko Ono.)

Acorn

The best way I can describe this is as a collection of illustrated meditations and inspirational phrases. As Yoko writes in the introduction, her book of “conceptual instructions,” Grapefruit, was published 50 years ago.

“Some years ago, I picked up from where I left off, and wrote Acorn for a website event. Now it’s being published in book form. I’m riding a time machine that’s going back to the old ways. Great! I added my dot drawings to give you further brainwork. i’m just planting the seeds. Have fun.” 

And you know, regardless of what you think of Yoko Ono, this is a fun little book. What I refer to as meditations, or contemplations, are each presented as linked “pieces” about various topics, each with a little Seurat-type of drawing accompanying it.  The artwork alongside each quote or linked group of phrases is almost as compelling as the words. At times she seems to be channeling her late husband John Lennon with several pieces encouraging the reader to imagine a planet or a landscape or all the people. At other times, she can be pretty damn funny. (“Take your pants off before you fight.”  – Dance Piece III)

“Imagine two billion universes.
Visualize yourself on a planet in each universe. 
Imagine what all of you are doing and thinking 
at this moment in time on the different planets. 
Think if the activities are correlated amongst all of you
Think how those activities are affecting the balance
of the infinite space.” 
– Earth Piece VIII

With this one, I can think of a few people who could benefit from this sort of phone:

“Get a telephone that only echoes back your voice. 
Call every day and complain and moan 
about your life and people around you.”
– Room Piece V

“Summer

Tape the sound of your baby son crying. 
Let him listen to the tape when he is 
going through pain as a young man.” 
-Sound Piece VI

I kind of love those.

Then there is this one, which struck me as a bit of an odd sentiment coming from Yoko Ono.

“Your brother is the man you killed in the past world.  He was born in your family because he wanted to be near you.” – Questionnaire I

Um. Well. If you follow that logic, she’s basically saying that John Lennon and Mark David Chapman will be brothers in another life, right?  That’s a bit too woo-woo even for my sensibilities, which can tolerate more than a considerable amount of woo-woo-iness.

I know Yoko is a bit of a controversial figure and that she’s easily dismissed by many, but I happen to really like and respect the hell out of her. Same is true, perhaps, of Acorn. Some may disregard it or not take it seriously (mine has a copyright date of 2013 and I’d never heard of it) but the goal is to take what works for you.

Read more Armchair BEA post from today by clicking here.