Saturday, August 06, 2016


Speaking of Chesterton's "monotonous memory," I was at the library with my husband and daughter on Thursday when I came rushing up to them in great excitement, holding onto a book.

"Look!" I gushed. "It's Mary Oliver's new poetry book!" (Felicity, published in 2015).

The sweet girl looked at me a little strangely. "Mom," she said, "you've read that."

"I have?"

"Yes," she said patiently. "You had it months ago. I remember seeing it in the house. And I think you read it."

I looked at the book in some consternation. And then light began to dawn....

She was right. I checked Felicity out months ago. It was in January, and I did read some of it. (I figured this out because I'd added it as "currently reading" to my Good Reads shelf at the time.)

But late January was when I ended up in the ER, which started the whole spiral of events that led to my surgery in early February and my diagnosis and beginning of treatment later that month. I think the book went back to the library without me ever finishing it. And in the ensuing craziness of the last several months, it somehow escaped my mind that I'd ever picked it up.

It's been a long road! And Mary Oliver gets long roads (and short ones, and all the beautiful things you see on roads, even hard ones.)

So I am getting the wonder of re-discovery. A few of the poems are coming back to me as I read them again, but mostly it's just a brand new experience.

And speaking of rediscoveries, I'm finally beginning to sort through some of the piles I've not touched in months either, and at long last, I found my 2016 desk calendar. Most years I can't make it without my little calendar/planner, and I knew I'd bought and started one last year, but I couldn't find it and I couldn't even remember what it looked like. (Yes, it's been a weird year.)

Turns out it's a lovely Monet one -- right! I remember! So strange to flip through and see the busyness of the days in January, and the sprinkling of work deadlines I'd penned in for February, March, and April. And then the blankness of everything else. It feels good to have it again. Just in time to pen in next week's vacation days, and my next treatment days too.

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