I’m curious about where and when little stacks of books take form. For me, I have bookshelves that hold many of my books — novels, poetry, journals, and work-related material that is mixed among varied artifacts. But then there’s these little stacks that I like to keep a bit closer. Sometimes for the reading. Sometimes for the haven read, wishing the experience to remain close. They change with time.
Two of my current little stacks are above.
At bedside table…
- A Cadence of Despair — I published it in 2020 (CentreSpoke). It’s a mix of poems and essays that map very personal material to a path of descent and rebirth. I like to have it close — a trusted friend. Makes me happy to see it, to know that I lived and wrote some of that journey.
- Ada Limon, The Carrying — She became US Poet Laureate recently. I like it that she has ties to New York University, near where my daughter and son in law live. Spontaneously, I gave a copy of the same book to my daughter. I said, “it’s good to have poetry in your home, particularly from a poet laureate.” I like to have it close. Makes me think of both the poetry of Limon and of my daughter.
- The Sun and Her Flowers, Rupi Kaur — This was a book given to me by my son a couple of years ago. He said, “It just seems like the kind of book you would like. I like some of her poems.” Well, I do. I like to have it close. Again for the words, particularly of descent, but also, as connection to my son’s kind heart.
- Everything Affects Everyone, Shawna Lemay — A book about seeing differently. About angels. About paying attention. About willingness to see the unseen. All important themes to me. And, I browse Shawna’s blog periodically. I love her attention to beauty. I keep it close — to remember to welcome beauty.
On my desk…
- Most Mornings — Another collection of my poems (CentreSpoke 2022). It’s artistry. It’s sense-making of the extraordinary that shows up in the ordinary. I keep it close to track some of the expressions important to me. I keep it close to watch how my thinking and feeling change, and remain the same.
- Black Moleskine Unlined Journal — I catch overnight dreams in this journal. I rely on dreams to create connections to what is taking place in my unconscious world. Dreams help me to interrupt the calcified world of mind. I like to have these close — I’ll add 3-4 dreams each week.
- Brown Leeman Lined Journal — This one has been sitting with me for a while. Wasn’t sure how I would use it. Started a few times with notes from this and that. However, this journal has become a celebration journal for me — as a practice. It’s a bit of high-fiving some of the regular things in a day. I find I need this. It became a regular practice 6 weeks ago.
Little stacks of books. Little artifacts of life that become important for a season. Sometimes for many seasons.
I suppose what I like most in this little reflection is welcoming some simple things to be honored. It’s so deeply and simply human. The things we wish to hold with joy that anchor a few days, weeks, or months of human journey.
And that are right here, right in front of us.