Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

I first heard about this book from the film Sister Act 2 when I was younger, but I was reminded about it when I watched both Sister Act 1 &2 the other night with my kids to show them the great musical performances. Don’t make fun! These movies are great! 😄 Anyway now my son and I go around singing all the songs, and he loves them as much as I did. But I was determined afterward to read this book, a book Whoopi Goldberg gives to Lauryn Hill and encourages her to keep singing. She quotes from the book saying, “If the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning is writing, then you’re a writer and if the same is for singing you’re a singer.” Something like that. Both films encouraged me to join my church choir and get involved in church at a young age eventually inspiring me to go to summer church camp three years in a row—a wonderful place I’ll never forget.

Great films and sure to be an inspiring read!

Sharing my Gwen Frostic Collection

I have a collection of Gwen Frostic poems and prints. Some she has signed. If you don’t know about her, she is a poet and artist who lived in the upper part of Michigan and had a little print shop all her own. She is quite famous around here. She used nature for contemplation and found a lot of inspiration with the birds, trees, seasons. During quarantine I too have been finding my own way of contemplation through whittling. Since I was little I always wanted to try it. I stain wood a lot using a variety of layering colors so carving it was the next learning step I guess. If you swipe 👉 you will see my second creation, St. Therese of Lisieux. She typically holds flowers and the rosary. I still have much to learn but I’m having fun. What has inspired you during this time of reflection? .

The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse by Charlie Mackesy

My daughter (age 10) and I have been doing a lot of reading together lately. The other night she read me this wonderful book by @charliemackesy . As the author explains, it is a book you can start in the middle, the end, or the beginning. My daughter wrote a wonderful write up about it to her teacher to keep up with her schoolwork during the quarantine. Beautiful and poetic, the book is filled with Mackesy’s wonderful drawings and wise words for children and adults alike. My daughter and I really enjoyed it! .

Irish Poem…

A SONG OF FREEDOM

by Alice Mulligan .

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In Cavan of little lakes / As I was walking with the wind / And no one seen beside me there / There came a song into my mind / It came as if the whispered voice / of one, but none of human kind / Who walked with me in Cavan then / And he invisible as wind. .

Memoir & Remains of Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Said to be the calming pastoral voice for Robert Louis Stevenson, The Rev. Robert Murray M’Cheyne was a Presbyterian minister in Edinburgh, Scotland in the early 1800s. Although very passionate in his vocation to ‘Save’ individuals and bring them to Christ, almost obnoxiously so, M’Cheyne’s writing is beautiful and his love & passion for his “flock” is felt throughout his work. One thing he writes that stuck out to me was that we should not just read scripture but try to FEEL the words we are reading. I thought this was very good advice. This work is edited by his good friend Andrew Bonar.

The entire work is a compilation of letters, full sermons, his memoir and his ‘Daily Bread’ calendar, which gives a bit of scripture to read everyday. Some quotes of his I have collected are below…

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“One gem from that ocean [the gospel] is worth all the pebbles of earthly streams.”

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“You know that a lighted lamp is a very small thing, and it burns calmly and without noise; yet “it giveth light to all that are within the house.”

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“Pray that you may pray to God, and not for the ears of man. Feel His presence more than man’s.”

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#bookish #preacher #robertlouisstevenson #edinburgh #history #memoir #bookstagram #bookstagramer #bookshelf #library #religion #inspiration #advice #writing #readersofinstagram #writersofinstagram #bookishescape #christianity #bible #bookphotography #bibliophile #booknerd #bookgeek

Paul’s Letter to the Colossians

Let your conversation be always full of grace, ‘seasoned with salt’,
so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

‘Salt’ is one of the most significant words in the whole Bible. We usually hear it in reference to God’s people – ‘salt of the earth’. Because of salt’s preservative nature, Christians, generation after
generation, preserve His name. Also, salt was hard to come by and expensive; Christ’s followers are rare and priceless to Him as He is to us. The words of God give us balance and purify our life as does
salt, as it balances the taste of food, bringing out all the subtle elements which make a flavor more delicate, synchronized, and desirable. Salt is also a necessary nutritional element to life itself; God is also—if only to enjoy in full capacity your life here on earth. Paul is saying here that when we speak, we should have a
little of this good salt on our lips or at least peace, love, and understanding, a balance, a purity. It will make difficult things
easier to say, and it will give mundane conversations life. Because I think to ‘live’ is to recognize that every day is a significant opportunity to cultivate a greater understanding of life, and share
the conundrum of its complexities with one another using the salt on our lips to do so. And in that, even discussing the weather will have as much significance as giving birth to life itself.

St. Teresa de Avila by Herself

Finished this over the weekend. I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to entrench themselves in faith reading. At times it was frightening, especially when she talks about seeing visions of the devil. Those were times I wanted to put it down, because that does scare me, and I don’t even believe in such a thing but rather an evil presence in the ether around us. But she also saved me from ever being afraid if I did think otherwise. ‘It’ can’t harm us, she says, because ‘it’ can’t do anything without God’s permission and if we keep God near what can ‘it’ do? With this happy thought I carry on. .

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“Then I snap my fingers at all the devils; they shall be afraid of me. I do not understand these fears which make us cry, ‘The devil, the devil!’ When we might be saying, ‘God! God!’ and make all the devils tremble.” —St. Teresa de Avila

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#bookish #bible #christianity #religion #bibliophile #bookshelf #library #booknerd #bookgeek #bookphotography #catholic #episcopal #episcopalchurch #nun #saints #church #reading #bookstagram #writersofinstagram #readersofinstagram #bookstagramer #booknerdigans #booklover

For the Bride: Today is our Wedding Anniversary

For The Bride: A scrapbook for brides from 1920’s. My mother gave me this as a sort of joke on my anniversary one year along with a book called, The Silent Hostess, also another inside joke. .

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My husband and I were married 14 years ago today. I was 22 years old. It was 70 degrees in Michigan, and the leaves were still brilliantly colored on all the trees. We were indeed blessed. It was before everyone got really creative with wedding pics. Ours are very standard and professionally posed. Nothing fancy like people all jumping at the same time or pictures of shoes and rings, etc. Some details I remember: Our photographer had been hit by a car that day and had managed to limp his way to our wedding despite this. There were ladybugs flying all over the place, got themselves caught in my veil, on my gown, in the hair of bridesmaids and groomsmen. My uncle Jack flew in from California to surprise me on this day, and my dad asked if I was nervous before he walked me down the aisle. I denied being nervous but hummed Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture because I WAS nervous (and because I’m a weirdo). I couldn’t find Bryan for most of the event, and everyone kept asking if I was pregnant. 😂 .

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Here’s to all the brides out there!

Cheers 🥂 .

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#bridesmaids #bride #wedding #celebration #weddingparty #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #booknerdigans #bookshelf #library #bookphotography #reading #bibliophile #mansion #booksofinstagram #booknerd #bookgeek #cheers #party #writersofinstagram #writingcommunity #readingcommunity

Desert Islands by Walter de la Mare

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ If any of you would like to read an interesting book (which I’m sure you do), please try Walter de la Mare’s Desert Islands. I have a rule to buy any work of Walter de la Mare’s that I don’t already have; I like him a lot.

Desert Islands is sort of a collection of essays (that’s what I would call it because no two chapters seem to flow together) that not only examine themes of isolation in stories like Treasure Island and Robinson Crusoe, but also Mare documents accounts of isolation in stages of Morphine-induced hallucinations from famous writers and letters written by scholars on the subject. It was a wonderful discovery. Every page was like a candle lit in some dark corner of a history forgotten. I can’t imagine there is another book quite like it out there.

This hard cover copy is a 1930 illustrated edition set against an old 1909 postcard and some shells and sand from California.