This Holiday Season I am Grateful for: Library Book Club

Or, that time I crashed the Library Book Club Social Hour.

My sister loves reading.  She loves reading in the nicest, purest, most normal way possible.  People of my generation, you, me, lovely book bloggers on the Internet, we love to read in this weird, exhibitionist sort of way: we take pictures of our bookshelves and post them online, we Instagram the books we’re reading, we write essays and post them on our blogs about the books we’ve read, we keep digital lists of the books we’ve read this year, we buy tee shirts with book covers on them, and artistic prints made from the entire text of a beloved novel.  Let’s face it, we are a lovely group of weirdos.  We are over the top in our expression of love for reading, our love for books, storyline, and plot.

My sister, however, is the Unexpected Reader.  Just by looking at her, talking to her, following her social media one wouldn’t think she devours stories, it certainly might surprise some people who know her very well, but she loves books.  And she recently chanced her arm at the public library’s Book Club.  I was flooded with texts about how much fun it was discussing a book with a group of people, how someone told her they were glad she came, that the group needs more “young people”, she saw people there she hasn’t seen in years!  She went back the next month.  I was super proud of her.

December, there was no book.  Instead the book clubbers had a social gathering scheduled.  Even though I’d never been before, my sister invited me and I’m so glad I went.  The woman who runs the book club brought snacks, coffee, tea, and had a fun (nerdy) activity planned for the book clubbers.  She selected newly acquired books from this year, wrapped them in fun paper and wrote their genre on the paper.  She had us each select a couple of books and we went around the circle unwrapping and sharing the book description.  We got a little silly, well, a reserved silly since we didn’t all know each other, and had fun discussing what we thought of the book based on the description.  We chatted a little bit about the ones we knew more about (I had just read about Welcome to Night Vale and what book did I pull?).  Overall, it was a lot of fun.

My sister checked out the book club book for January and we’re planning on both reading it so we can both attend the January meeting (assuming I’m still in the area then).  I am ever so grateful that a) the library has a book club, b) my sister was brave enough to go on her own, and c) she invited me to the party and got me interested.  I’m always complaining that since I left college I have no one to talk books with, and, yet, every month there’s a group of people gathering across town talking books!

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So I dressed like Death

It’s been said
if a thing scares you,
if you don’t understand it,
you must walk a mile in it’s shoes.
See life from it’s point of view.
Embrace it’s way of life:
then
you’ll understand.

So.
I dressed like Death.

Painted a death-skull on my face.
Donned black robes.
Wove flowers in my hair.
I was a formidable character,
redoubtable in my presence,
striking in my purpose.
I was a force to be reckoned with:
La Calavera Catrina
reminding us of our own mortality, and how
much of what we do is fleeting.
I was hopeful this reminder of death
would bring about connection,
draw us closer together.

Like Death,
I am friendly and affectionate.
I hand out flowers from my hair,
gifts to friends and strangers.
I might not know their names,
but each rose ends up with someone over the course of the night.
Most are distributed in wild frenzy on the dance floor.
Some are lovingly handed to darling friends in a bathroom.
One is placed deliberately in a breast pocket.
Flowers of friendship, flowers of desperation,
flowers of childlike hope
each rose attempts to bridge the same gap;
A present from Death, a token to say
“We are the same. Let’s be friends.”

At the end of the night
I do not know that I understand Death
any better than I did before;
not unless she, too, tries and tries only to find herself
at the end of the night
empty-handed and the floor littered with petals.
But for each flower crushed into the brown and suspect carpet,
I have hope that one or two are still safely woven in braids
or snugly tucked in jacket pockets.
For of all the flowers distributed,
the one or two that truly matter will come back to me.
And the rest, I hope,
enjoyed the moment
of receiving a flower at all.

Life Plans.

Today
  • Shopping for party this weekend
  • Seeing The Hunger Games with BMPG
Tomorrow
  • Find a Breakfast place that will make me eggs and pancakes filling enough to be lunch also
  • Help PM decorate A+R’s apartment
  • BACHELORETTE PARTY
Sunday
  • Hangover
  • Massage?
Monday
  • Go to Salem to celebrate BAM’s bday
Tuesday
  • Home
Wednesday
  • Morning with SMo
Thursday
  • Demonstrate “Stringed Instruments” for preschoolers
  • Weird stations of the cross walk through display at M+D’s church
Friday
  • Hiking with MSB (and MI?)
And this is just the next week of my life.  I’m not really this social.  I’ve never in my life needed to schedule this much.  But this week and next week are so crazy jam packed that I’m thinking of taking a few minutes out of today to create a makeshift planner out of construction paper just so I don’t forget anything.
The upside to all this craziness is there has got to be a story in here somewhere!
Wish me luck!