Cartoon borrowed from Lena Roy's FaceBook page dedicated to her grandmother, author Madeleine L'Engle.
It was a 14 degree wind chill in some places locally last night and the dawn was brisk. However, the afternoon sun was wonderful and the temps warmed to a nice place. I had several errands and the schedule included a lovely lunch with friend Kathleen at her new home. She had wonderful chili which was just right for the day, and lunching while looking out her sparkling clean new windows was wonderful.
We taught for years in the same buildings. She still works part-time, and today she shared that the trend now is to teach non-fiction almost exclusively. She stated that less and less fiction is being taught. Oh, that is what is wrong with the world now…not enough great literature or appreciation of good story! Knowledge and facts are both good, but scholars should also know compassion, empathy, tolerance, and…you get the idea.
Many of us of a certain age formed our images of the world by knowing Miss Havisham, the big old dog Old Yeller, the Joads, the famous Charlotte of web fame…ah, and not web as in online! Where would we be without the lament and lesson of Scarlet’s “I will think about it tomorrow!” These were all great pieces of fiction.
On the blog, THE WRITE PRACTICE (http://thewritepractice.com/) by Joe Bunting there was a discussion a few days ago of good writers reading good books. “Reading teaches, inspires, motivates, transcends, transforms, stimulates, brings escape and comfort. Reading also irritates and questions; probes and provokes.” How smart this author was to recognize how much we all need story, either by writing them or reading them or both.
Kathleen writes a couple of blogs herself. One deals with coping with her mother’s Alzheimer’s. She said today that a few readers have told her that the blog is painful to read. I, too, have wept on a few days after reading her words. But she doesn’t write for the comfort of others; she writes for cathartic release of her own feelings. While that she pours her heart out on the page may be hurtful to some, it must be solace to others besides herself. She surely must capture feelings and thoughts that others have… others that may not be able to write or express those feelings.
Although the blog deals with Alzheimer’s, readers can find food for thought here without having personal experience with this disease. For really what Kathleen addresses is losing our loved ones and how we can handle that loss. Her practical and positive approach to dealing with a slow deterioration in a relationship is thought-provoking guidance for all readers. Visit her and read a few pages at: http://stealingmother.blogspot.com