Some good reading!

It's been a lovely Saturday.  I met with some artist friends and we talked about an upcoming show.  It was so nice to be with this group of 10 down-to-earth, smart, art-minded women.  I've been missing painting so.  I feel like part of me is missing, and so I was reminded that I've just got to start up again, and also that art really is a means for change and hope within a community.  (More details on show in the upcoming months).   

I came back to my parents house and set myself in the office chair, which is not too comfortable, so I won't fall asleep, and began reading for my classes. The book I'm reading now is a collection of the Best American Essays from 2009, edited by one of the dearest poets, (a dear poet to many) Mary Oliver.   Also, mentioned in the back as Notable Essays of 2009, is my dearest and most intelligent friend, Amy Scott, and my fabulous professor, Pat Madden.  

I've been supremely interested in the essay as of late.  I think a good deal in part to a visiting writer who visited our campus to do a reading, a lecture, and an interview, all of which I sat on the front row for.  His name is Scott Russell Sanders, and I want to send his book to most people I know.  My professor, who has the notable essay above, always says that "essayists are just good people."  After spending a few hours in the presence of Sanders, I was much more inclined to accept sweeping statements of proclaimed goodness.  It also exhibited to me the power of words.  I know, a phrase that we hear often, but really, I think most people in the large, crowded room, were moved at some point during his reading.  I read his book Hunting for Hope, which was just beautiful and inspiring and full of simplicity.  He has two more books out that I'm daydreaming about owning.  They are A Private History of Awe and  A Conservationist Manifesto.  If you are looking for a good read, at any stage of life, these would be worth your while.  

Today however, I wanted to share just a paragraph from the essays that I've been reading, and in particular, some from Wendell Berry:

"On the contrary, our human and earthly limits, properly understood, are not confinements but rather inducements to formal elaboration and elegance, to fullness of relationship and meaning.  Perhaps our most serious cultural loss in recent centuries is the knowledge that some things, though limited, are inexhaustible.  For example, an ecosystem, even that of a working forest or farm, so long as it remains ecologically intact, is inexhaustible.  A small place, as I know from my own experience, can provide opportunities of work and learning, and a fund of beauty, solace, and pleasure--in addition to its difficulties-- that cannot be exhausted in a lifetime, or in generations." 

Happy Saturday!  

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