Shock the tongue
jump start the nerves
coffee's first sip
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Friday, January 24, 2014
On the meditative benefits of befriending a cat, from Muriel Spark, A Far Cry from Kensington :
If you want to concentrate deeply on some problem, and especially some piece of writing or paper-work, you should acquire a cat. Alone with the cat in the room where you work … the cat will invariably get up on your desk and settle placidly under the desk lamp. The light from a desk lamp … gives a cat great satisfaction. The cat will settle down and be serene, with a serenity that passes all understanding. And the tranquility of the cat will gradually come to affect you, sitting there at your desk, so that all the excitable qualities that impede your concentration compose themselves and give your mind back the self-command it has lost. You need not watch the cat all the time. Its presence alone is enough. The effect of a cat on your concentration is remarkable, very mysterious.
Courtesy Maria Popova's Brain Pickings site.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Review of Bring Your Own God: The Spirituality of Woody Guthrie by Rev. Steve Edington; 3.5 stars
This book covers an aspect of Woody's life no other biography spends much time on: his spirituality. The basic case is made in the first chapter; the remaining chapters strive to support the argument. The author is a Unitarian minister, and possibly reflects some preference toward portraying Woody as a self-taught Unitarian. Having read much of Woody's writing beyond Bound For Glory, however, I agree with this portrayal.
The author's approach is not chronological, which I found interesting — though I was not sure why he approached the topic in this fashion. It certainly helped that I was already familiar with Guthrie's biography from three other sources (Bound for Glory, and Woody Guthrie: A Life by Joe Klein & Ramblin' Man: The Life and Times of Woody Guthrie by Ed Cray).
The book includes much of Woody's writing that I have not seen elsewhere, especially letters he wrote in response to condolence letters after the death of Cathy ("Stackabones"), and much of a play written after he was hospitalized with Huntington's. For me, these selections were worth the $4 for the Kindle edition.
The book does become repetitive in the last few chapters, which is the main reason it falls short of a four-star review. Otherwise, I would definitely recommend someone read this as a supplement with Klein or Cary's biographies to get a full picture of the man.