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A book I read in February 2021

Another book, which recently came into my possession, was Circe by Madeline Miller. I abandoned my first attempt at reading it after a few sentences as I wasn’t in the mood for a book needing concentration. My second attempt a few weeks later was successful. I found the style, in which the Greek myths are retold from Circe’s point of view, excellent. Circe, a daughter of Helios, had more compassion than the other gods. She also felt remorse.

There were just enough hints to remind the reader of the identity of the characters. In some cases I was able to guess in advance of being told the name of newcomers to the story. It is not a light read, but I thoroughly recommend it.

The Greek gods are described as being power-hungry, cruel and unreliable. I couldn’t help comparing them with the God of the Bible, to whom I give thanks for his everlasting love.

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Paint chip haibun

Linda Kruschke’s Paint chip poetry prompt is for a Haibun. For the definition, the paint chip colours and examples of her haibuns please visit her post.

What I would like you to do is write a haibun in the form of a travel journal or diary entry. It must be nonfiction. I want to hear about your adventures. End your poem with a haiku (for those of you who were hoping for haiku this week, you won’t be disappointed). You can include additional haiku if you like.

The paint chip words and phrases that you have to work with are before the rainmountain peaksupernovatumbleweedtropicalin the dark, and dust bunny.

I would like you to use at least five of the paint chips, including one in your haiku.

And there is no need for a title with a haibun, much like the haiku that has no title. But you can add one if you like.

Haibun inspired by journal entries in my Decomposition Book

Monday. We were driven from the airport towards the sun, setting bright as a supernova.

Pool in Japanese garden

Pool in Japanese garden

Wednesday. In Portland’s rose garden we explored the paths, read many labels and ate our picnic lunch before the rain. Then we visited the Japanese garden.

Waterfall beyond
a pool wherein koi carp
swim near the irises

Saturday. Visiting Mount Tabor we caught a glimpse of the mountain peak we had last seen from the air. Walking up a path we reached a gap in the trees. Mount Hood, which had been hidden by clouds on Monday, was clearly visible. An awe-inspiring surprise view.

It was June. Light evenings meant we rarely stayed out in the dark. We walked a long way in the city and its suburbs.

Tree-lined avenues
diminish tropical heat
of Portland’s sidewalks

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New Year thoughts

I am putting off writing my next book review post until I have gathered my thoughts about how I intend to spend my time in 2021. So I am procrastinating already!

Many bloggers are looking back over the past year and forward to the next. It can be a useful exercise. On the More than Writers blog, to which I have been a regular contributor for a few years, there was a post about #myoneword.

I chose a word for 2016 and another for 2017. Since then I have not picked a word, but have aimed to use my time productively. (Is spending time on social media productive?)

This year I have been wondering about picking a word again. Listen was a contender. It occurs in the Bible hundreds of times, a good example being in Proverbs 1:5

I prefer Focus, which could include attentive listening and an element of mindfulness. I tend to be thinking about other things, when I am doing routine tasks. It is not particularly healthy. Sometimes it leads to not remembering what I have done or not done! I also have a bad habit of reading, writing or doing puzzles while the news is on the radio. I can knit (easy things) or colour pictures from a beautiful book (Images of Joy by Jacqui Grace) and listen at the same time.

In the hall of residence of my student days a small Christian Union group used to begin every meeting by singing the chorus, Turn your eyes upon Jesus. That is one way of focussing.

Looking back at how my life has changed over recent years is easier with my hand-written journal and my blog. Occasionally I notice that someone has viewed a blog post I had completely forgotten about. I read it myself and find that my life has moved on in some way from that point. For example, I used to update my journal every few days, trying to remember what had happened. Now I write about the previous day as part of my quiet time every morning. It is easier to remember from one day to the next. I had intended to make this more of a spiritual practice, but I find it very difficult to write my feelings down.

Perhaps that is something I should focus on. It isn’t that I am unable to do it, as I found out in a journaling workshop led by Tracy Williamson and Marilyn Baker on Zoom in September.

My regular readers will know that words fascinate me. My three words (2016, 2017 and 2021)  have a progression of shared letters – ReST – TRuST; TrUSt – FocUS.

Have you chosen a word to help keep you on track in 2021?

Whether or not, Happy New Year!