To be continued

My resolution plate is happily empty, as I’ve chosen to skate by picking goals to live up to this year. In this waning January of 2018, I find I’m revisiting not-quite-left-behind connections and planning to pick up the pieces. I will refocus daily on juggling work and work life, home and home life, projects, health, energy, sanity and compassion, as we do, but giving more mindful weight to where the bright spots are.

For several years my daily routine has been to post and share at least one photograph I’ve taken online. Social media has been paying me back for my efforts with prompts from “memories.”  Each day I find another glimpse of a day in my life, as well represented days surface in my news feeds from years of daily inadvertent photo journaling. Stopping to savor and look back each morning, and to create a new picture for the day will continue for my year.

Returning to pick up an unfinished knitting project reminds me of some important things: the friendship and ornery camaraderie of online knitters, the hand spun and dyed yarn bought from an international craftsman who’s swapped  farm stories with me, the wake up greeting of a yarn ball, not a dog toy, underfoot in human living space. To be in the moment and flow of the geometry of making lace. Process, always, not progress.

With a seemingly endless supply of pre-publication books offered by publishers in online “galleys” to choose from, a decided perk to being a librarian, my reading piles always grow beyond managing. I find I really savor the experience of reading a physical book these days. Audiobooks also offer a way to escape “screen time” reading. In this past year, I often managed to complete substantial downloadable audiobooks in brief commute-sized listenings, running across repeated borrowings.

So, what are some of these books worth returning to? I’ve prepared some lovely pairings of titles that work together. Please choose to indulge in 2018.

For epic resistance and resilience, two very unique lives:  Amor Towles “A Gentleman in Moscow”  and  Kelly Grey Carlisle  “We are all Shipwrecks

For lives lived out per hearts’ desire: Nina Riggs “The Bright Hour” and Tim Bauerschmidt “Driving Miss Norma

Crotchety travels for armchair travelers: John Hodgman “Vacationland” and Bill Bryson “The Road to Little Dribbling

Hearing voices and seeing dead people: George Saunders “Lincoln in the Bardo” and Elizabeth Strout “ Anything is Possible

Plot, place, character and place as character: Louise Penny “Glass Houses” and Jane Harper “The Dry

Migrations, family, culture and escape (or not): Min Jin Lee “Pachinko” and Ayobami Adebayo “Stay with Me” and Katie M.Kitamura “A Separation

Growing up: Louise Erdrich “Future Home of the Living God” and Celeste Ng “Little Fires Everywhere” and Lisa Ko “The Leavers

Photos from the daily Momentiles of Janice Painter. 

Looking for the bright spot, Princeton Cemetery, April 13, 2017

Process not progress, January 16, 2018

Pairings, Asheville North Carolina, April 7, 2014

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