Author Ann Voskamp says in this week’s World Magazine that when you hit a dry spell in your writing, you aren’t reading enough. She suggests reading several books at once. They talk to each other and you can join the conversation. She also maintains that list writing generates spiritual attentiveness. To that end, I’m recommitting to my practice of keeping an annotated list of what I’m reading. I use the Book Lust Journal by Nancy Pearl.
I’m drawn these days to read imagined characters set in real world context; most recently Caleb’s Crossing and Remarkable Creatures. In both cases the protagonists keep their minds and hearts open while working alongside people with limited perception. It’s always a push to see the bigger picture.
|My travel companion Sharon and her Polish cousins|
I’m back in the New World now, missing the city squares where people gather in front of makeshift big screens to cheer their favorite football team—for free! I love crossing bridges that span the old and the new, walking cobblestone streets, popping into an art gallery or a palace (there’s not palace on your block?) to enjoy a concert before dinner, gazing out my window over red-topped roofs that undulate across the horizon of time, punctuated by golden church spires that wear globes, crosses and stars like a Hapsburg monarch wore her jewels.
As lovely as the Old World is though, I would not trade freedom for antiquity.