In Praise of Books

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  It was a stormy windy night that I ended at Vancouver Public Library for shelter and kill time on my way to a concert. I am not the only one seeking refuge here. From the main floor, the children’s … Continue reading

Sometime the hating has to stop.

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For Valentine’s Day, I wanted to watch a movie that would make my heart all warm and fuzzy as I nurse the dreaded flu that I am afflicted with for the past three days. Our library has a wide range … Continue reading

The fun side of being a minimalist

Think like a child. Chasing bubbles is more fun that having all the toys in the world.
minimalist bubble

Think like a dog. A red ball is his priceless possession. Don’t even take that ball away from him if you know what’s good for you. Hands off!
minimalist ball

Share your love of reading with your neighbourhood. Have an outdoor library. Recycle your books.This will give you more space at home. You’ll get to know the people in your area. It’s more enjoyable to know them and chin wag not just about books. You’ll never know this might be the beginning of a lasting friendship.
minimalist library

These are some basics steps of being a minimalist.

Never too late

30 years over due book

30 years over due book

“To whom it may concern. From Courtenay library. Please find $100.00 for courier back to Courtenay and overdue. I shall contact next week to ensure all is in order. Thanks.”

More than 30 years after he first borrowed Camping and Woodcraft from a Vancouver Island library, an unidentified man has finally put the well-thumbed guidebook back into circulation.  

The man, described only as an older gentleman, walked into a library branch in Prince George, B.C. and handed over a copy of the 1965 book Camping and Woodcraft: A Handbook for Vacation Campers and for Travelers, and said he would like it returned to its home in Courtenay, B.C.

Do you have any books sitting around that is long overdue?

Source: National Post

My dear Lucy

No one is too old for Fairy Tales

Once upon a time, my dream house will have a library.  The library will be filled with wall to wall and top to bottom room full of books that I collected over the years.  And then I discovered the joy of going to the library.  I ended giving away most of my books to goodwill and kept the children’s books.

I never outgrew The Little Prince, All things bright and beautiful, I like you because and The man who planted trees. These books have taught me more than any self-help books that I’ve read.  Besides, I love the pictures.  It is true that pictures say a thousand words and I can create a different story just by looking at them.

Image source: Jemima’s Journal

Rights: Yes or No

A year and a day

Reader’s Bill of Rights

The right to not read
The right to skip pages
The right to not finish
The right to reread
The right to read anything
The right to escapism
The right to read anywhere
The right to browse
The right to read out loud
The right to not defend your tastes

Adapted from “Better Than Life” by Daniel Pennac

Small Culture

Lately, I have been thinking of him, a lot. The bench underneath the tree where he used to seat is empty and the tree is now bare, leafless.

z ian

Sometimes, I take a peak at the cafeteria and thinking that I might see him there, eating without the help of teeth. How can he possible eat without any choppers?

It’s time for me to pull out the books of poems he generously gave to me, read some and share some to you as promised.  I just noticed the dedication:

Heaven has no humour like
A woman in love with English

To remind you of what I shared with you before, you may read it here.

Small Culture ~ poem by Ian Rudkin

You can’t assume that a woman is
Supposed to know who you are. A woman
Doesn’t have to like men but she does
Because she is a woman. Honest likes honest.

Brutality preys on a good woman’s soul
Man’s good is not quantity. Human good
Is a humour about fallibility. You can’t
Get free-flowing food if you can’t see it.

People who want ordinary food naturally pay
Some money. Poets thus are really wise to
Share their thoughts with their friends and
Their books with people who want ordinary books.

The sign of an amateur is to have
Too high a regard for success. It is good
To value small successes. That way you have
The idea of what pleases — that is, directness.

He wore the same pants, the same shirt and the same jacket.  Walking around, holding his waist bands so that his pants won’t fall.  Did he forget to wear his belt, again?

I miss his presence.

Seven Million Whys!

I have this note posted on my computer at work that is sort of a queue card for me that helps me on a daily basis when it comes to communication, analysis and problem solving.

“I have six honest serving men, they taught me all I know.  I call them What, Where, When, Who, Why and How.”

z kipling

However, I have a problem with Why.  For me, it’s a childish question.  It’s alright when a child ask me why but when an adult asks, I felt like saying: “Are you a dolt?” in my mind.  So I facetiously answer: “Why is the sky blue?”  Evading this word is easier for me than responding to it.  The person will never be satisfied with my response.  It is akin to being put on the grill.  Having worked in a law firm, I know better.

As I found out, the whole poem is part of a children’s book written by Kipling:

I KEEP six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
I send them over land and sea,
I send them east and west;
But after they have worked for me,
I give them all a rest.
I let them rest from nine till five,
For I am busy then,
As well as breakfast, lunch, and tea,
For they are hungry men.
But different folk have different views;
I know a person small—
She keeps ten million serving-men,
Who get no rest at all!
She sends’em abroad on her own affairs,
From the second she opens her eyes—
One million Hows, two million Wheres,
And seven million Whys!
The Elephant’s Child 

This poem just answered my question how come I do not like “Whys”!
Thank you, Poet4Justice: If for helping me solve a riddle.
Related Link: Kipling: Elephant’s Child

Habitual Reader

Joyce Carol Oates says: “The first sentence cannot be written until the final sentence is written.”

reading

This brings me to the habit of reading a book.

I read the first page and the final page before I decide whether I will read the whole book.  Should I enjoy these, more than likely I will relish reading every word written in the book.

The boy who reads: A story of hope

“One would think that the last place to find a starved and unkempt street urchin is in a book store.” 

He is 13-year-old Mark Jayvee “MJ” Mojon and he frequents the store to beg for money or food. But on some days, he also stops by to read. 
At age 13, MJ is just an incoming Grade 2 student. MJ’s mother says financial struggles forced MJ to drop out of school for several years. 
But poverty hasn’t stopped MJ from wanting to learn.  When he wasn’t begging, he would visit the bookstore to read.  Even in his house, MJ has a small corner where he keeps books borrowed from neighbors.  
This story has a happy ending. 
To read the full story, visit these links:

This Is Your Life – eBooks

“If you could read a book containing all that has happened and will ever happen in your life, would you? If you choose to read it, you must read it cover to cover.” 
Just don’t feel writing what book that would be, today.  I can only imagine the book will be a Trilogy like Lord of the Rings.  That’s how sometimes I picture myself in book form.  There will be no ending. Fourth booking coming soon. Furthermore, it will be an eBook form. 
Instead let me share this beautiful video which I would prefer to call “Where on Earth is Matt?” instead of “Where the Hell is Matt?”  I find it uplifting. 
Hoping you will enjoy it as much as I did.  Have a good day, everyone. 
In keeping with his doctrine that nothing be taken too seriously, not even his own teachings, the Master loved to tell this story on himself:
“My very first disciple was so weak that the exercises killed him.
My second disciple drove himself crazy from his earnest practice of the  exercises I gave him.
My third disciple dulled his intellect through too much contemplation.
But the fourth managed to keep his sanity.” 
“Why was that?” someone would invariably ask. 
“Possibly because he was the only one who refused to do the exercises.” 
The Master’s words would be drowned in howls of laughter.
Anthony de Mello, SJ
MORSEL:    The teacher is like the candle which lights others in consuming itself. ~  Giovanni Ruffini (1807-1881)

DP: That Stings! – Flight of a Bumble Bee

Franz Kafka said, “we ought to read only books that bite and sting us.” What’s the last thing you read that bit and stung you?

When was the last time I borrowed a book from the library?  It was such a long time ago.  There is a period in my life that I devour all the books at the library and suddenly BOOM, I stop reading. 

Bite me, I dare you.  Vampire books are enjoyable to read because they bite.  What stings them is that they still have their humanity, the love to be amongst the living.  Ah, love, it makes my heart grow fonder.  It’s lovely to feel the love of the Vampires.  I feel so much love.  Just wait a minute, that doesn’t sting.

There are a couple of books beside me that I pick up to read between TV commercials.  I tell you, I can read a chapter by the time the ads are over, too many commercials on TV.  “All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum and “The Pleasure of Finding Things Out” by Richard P. Feynman.  These books are filled with humor and they both sting, a little.

The book that I keep on coming back that I never seem to finish reading is titled “Awareness … the perils and … opportunities for reality” written by Anthony de Mello.  This is not an easy read or a romantic novel.  This book cuts through the core, and I bleed just by reading it.

When I picked up the book, it opened on this chapter, and I quote in part:
At a loss for Words:  “God does not die on the day we cease to believe in a personal deity.  But we die on the day when our lives cease to be illumined by the ready radiance of wonder renewed daily, the source of which is beyond all reason. We don’t have to quarrel about a word, because “God” is only a word, a concept.  One never quarrels about reality; we only quarrel about opinions, about concepts, about judgments.”

 And this is the part the stings, hurts and takes a lot of reflection.
“Drop your concepts, drop your opinions, drop your prejudices drop your judgments; and you will see that.” 
 I fight and struggle with this regularly as I write my post and read others. 

DP: Circle of Five – “Five Degrees of Separation?”

A writer once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If this is true, which five people would you like to spend your time with? 
This prompt reminds of the movie “Six Degrees of Separation.” It also conjures a process of elimination on my part.  In order not to offend anyone in my circle that is still living on this earth, I will narrow this down to the people who have left the planet. 
Jose Rizal

Jose Rizal

Jose Rizal – During my high school days, I was smitten by this man. I fell in love with his words. Noli Me Tangere translated in English “Touch Me Not”. We were required to memorize and recite the verses in Spanish. Spanish is a romantic sounding language. If only I could touch him right now. He is the national Hero of the Philippines. He fought the Spaniards using just his pen. And his Pen is mightier than a sword. He founded a nonviolent-reform society. One day, I will return to the Philippines and visit the jail where he was imprisoned.

 

Chief Dan George

Chief Dan George

Chief Dan George – we are practically neighbours. He lived in Burrard Inlet, North Vancouver; a few minutes where I live here. A native of Canada of First Nations origin. I have the book he wrote “My Heart Soars” as part of my book collections which is not that many. Once in a while, I visit the church reserve to be with the First Nations elders and listen to their stories.

Richard Feynman

Richard Feynman

Ah, Richard Feynman. Doesn’t he look mischievous in this picture? I met him in Isla Mujeres in Mexico. This American couple introduced me to “Surely you’re joking, Mr. Feynman.” Ever since I became so curious in life because of his curiosity. He’s so contagious. I could easily “pick” him up anytime, that is, the book.

Maximilian Maria Kolbe

Maximilian Maria Kolbe

Maximilian Maria Kolbe – He’s a new guy in the block from Poland. We were supposed to visit Nazi German concentration camp of Auschwitz, but due to flooding, we didn’t make it. This is a bit morbid, but I want to know what he thinks of Adolf Hitler. Definitely, I do not, I repeat, do not wish to spend time with Adolf!.

 

Bernadette

Bernadette

My poor Bernadette. Somehow I really did not like her at first when I was at Lourdes in Oct 2012 pilgrimage. She’s a bit whinny for my taste. But, this is a big BUT, when I stayed overnight at her place at Espace Bernadette where she died, I had a change of heart.
 
 
 
To date, I still don’t know what it is. Yes, that’s the gravatar I am using. I am beginning to feel so fondly of her just having her presence as I write the Daily Prompt. My hope in the future is to spend more time in Espace Bernadette in Nevers.
And she can tell me her favourite massage “Every human being is precious in the eyes of God”.