Monday, March 25, 2019
Reading, Writing, Singing
How I wish blog posts would magically write themselves--I've been silent not because I have nothing to say but rather too much. I've been reading some marvelous books and find it fascinating how one book is leading me to another and allowing me to daydream a book of my own. It all started with Vikram Seth's AN EQUAL MUSIC. What can I say about this marvelous book? If you love music--you must read this love story. It is so textured, even the pieces I've not heard, I could imagine. Seth's writing is so evocative, so rich, it makes me cry with longing.
TROUBLE AT THE SCRIPTORIUM by Anne E. Johnson is medieval mystery about a chant book that has a page full of mistakes. Why? Are the monks just being lazy? Did they run out of gold leaf? Is it a message? Read and find out how a young boy, Harley, with help from friends figures out what this is all about and in time to have a great feast! A gem! I've known about this book for several years and meant to pick it up for my kids while they were still in elementary school but somehow it slipped my radar but I remembered the title and was so happy to see it's still in print. It's beautifully made with interior art and it came with a postcard from the publisher: Royal Fireworks Press. Check them out for even more gems. They cater to the homeschool market, their philosophy: We believe that education should be joyous, filled with fun, humor, and art... I couldn't agree more.
I'm reading another book, THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY, by Louise Penny, that's set in a remote monastery. One of the monks has been contemplating more than God...this time, the choirmaster's been murdered. Next on my list is HIDDEN VOICES: the orphan musicians of Venice by Pat Lowery Collins. I can't wait to dive into the world of Vivaldi and his orphan students.
I'm singing lots. Hardly a day goes by when I'm not singing a psalm or a Mass. Gregorian chant truly is healing, "a beautiful mystery." Next week is Laetare Sunday and we will sing the Short Mass in Honor of St. John the Baptist by Rene Quignard. The Agnus Dei is my favorite movement.
I'm not writing a lot but spending a lot of time daydreaming in the manner Robert Olen Butler recommends in his excellent writing book: From Where You Dream. I agree with so much he has to say on the nature of fiction and writing and reading. I wish every English teacher would take heed so that once critical analysis is over, the student again begins to read for pleasure.