Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Sharing Beauty With Friends


Hearing from so many of you after my last post, made me feel as though I'd been standing in a field's bright center, alone, and then from the trees at the edges, peeked faces of friends I'd guessed were hiding there all along.

Or something like that.

I think I am waxing poetic lately because I am rereading the book, Housekeeping, the first novel by Marilynne Robinson. Please tell me you've read it. To me, Marilynne is Queen of Beautiful Similies and Metaphors. The same-named movie is in my top five favorites of all time and it places dreams in my head long days afterward.

So to all my friends who popped out from behind those aforementioned trees, I have no sermons for you today. No, I have only snippets of treasure to share with you...sometimes we are so bombarded with what's wrong in Life that it's like dessert or a balm of healing to be told what's right.

If you were to delve into the book, Housekeeping, here are just a handful of the golden jewels you'd pull upward. And I'm sharing them because, as we all know, nothing in this life is appreciated fully until it is shared with a friend...

"Her children slept on starched sheets under layers of quilts, and in the morning her curtains filled with light the way sails fill with wind."

"They had no reason to look forward, nothing to regret. Their lives spun off the tilting world like thread off a spindle, breakfast time, suppertime, lilac time, apple time."

"And she would feel that sharp loneliness she had felt every long evening since she was a child. It was the kind of loneliness that made clocks seem slow and loud and made voices sound like voices across water."

"She felt the hair lifted from her neck by a soft wind and she saw the trees fill with wind and heard their trunks creak like masts."

"For five years my grandmother cared for us very well. She cared for us like someone reliving a long day in a dream."

"Lucille and me she tended with scrupulous care and little confidence, as if her offerings of dimes and chocolate chip cookies might keep us, our spirits, here in her kitchen."

"I remember sitting under the ironing board, which pulled down from the kitchen wall, while she ironed the parlor curtains and muttered 'Robin Adair.'"

"We stayed awake the whole night because Lucille was afraid of her dreams."

"Sylvie always walked with her head down, to one side, with an abstracted and considering expression, as if someone were speaking to her in a soft voice."

"If someone had asked me about Lucille I would remember ...that she smelled dully clean, like chalk or like a sun-warmed cat."

"That evening Lily and Nona were taken by a friend of my grandmother's back to Spokane and we and the house were Sylvie's."

"Downstairs the flood bumped and fumbled like a blind man in a strange house, but outside it hissed and trickled, like the pressure of water against your eardrums, and like the sounds you hear in the moment before you faint."

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