Tag Archives: travel

stack

They’re sitting there waiting on me. Books I want to read. I have them in stacks by my favorite chair and by the bed. Here’s their roll call:

Lord of the Rings trilogy (afraid of this one…why won’t I start….help me out, those of you who’ve read them); Thames, the biography; Art & Soul; Ottoline and the Yellow Cat; Horses: history, myth, art; London: the years of change; Sweat Your Prayers; Good Poems for hard times; I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings; We are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For; The River of Doubt; Animal, Vegetable, Miracle; Visioning.

That’s just the stack by the chair. There are even more by the bed. When I travel, I have to take at least three books with me. And then I usually find something in the airport bookstore. I seldom read more than two of the books I bring….one always on the plane. I’ve thought about that. Why don’t I just look at the people and maybe engage? There might be something interesting I’d learn. But I can’t not read a book on a plane. And then the book gets me through the sleepless nights when I travel. And the others––they’re for security. I have to have a stack wherever I am. Sony Reader, Kindle, IPad….what about us stackers? Maybe a virtual stack is just as comforting. Is it? You tell me.

And then I have my fall back: Georgette Heyer’s regency novels. They comfort me when nothing else can. I know all the plots by heart. I don’t care. She’s never stale to me. She’s my pacifier.

What’s in a stack by your bed or chair?  It probably doesn’t matter if we ever read them, does it? It’s all about the stack. Wonder why….

road trip

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I headed toward Dallas this weekend, not expecting to encounter memories. There’s a wide open swath of land where a road numbered 287 branches west toward Waxahachie and Fort Worth, and at the sight of that sign, my heart squeezed, and I remembered more than ten years ago when my son was in the car behind me, and we were taking him to his first year of college. I remembered how before we left he had walked through the rent house we were living in for a last look “just in case,” and indeed I had moved by the following Christmas. 

And the crisp coolness of Dallas means bulbs flower prolifically, and I was taking an innocent walk and came across a yard of daffodils and was pierced through the heart again with a memory of my sister, Carmen. She died in February when her Arkansas yard was filled with daffodils moving toward blossom. This is what I wrote once to try and capture her loss:

From the page I can draw tears, hard hearts break on my words, droplets stalagmite in readers’ bone caves, bravo they say to me. In my garden, leaves green, the yet unborn flowers will be bold yellow and soft. My sister loved daffodils, planted a yard of them she would never see. Green healing. I think I want no more grief from which to prosper.