As someone who adores tradition and enjoys re-reading a great book, I have embraced the summer tradition of reading Gift from the Sea. My copy is underlined and written in, and so much fun to read again each year.
In this inimitable, beloved classic—graceful, lucid and lyrical—Anne Morrow Lindbergh shares her meditations on youth and age; love and marriage; peace, solitude and contentment as she set them down during a brief vacation by the sea. Drawing inspiration from the shells on the shore, Lindbergh’s musings on the shape of a woman’s life bring new understanding to both men and women at any stage of life.
Another re-read, I love MFK Fisher's How to Cook a Wolf not for the recipes but for the encouragement.
Written to inspire courage in those daunted by wartime shortages, How to Cook a Wolf continues to rally cooks during times of plenty, reminding them that providing sustenance requires more than putting food on the table. M. F. K. Fisher knew that the last thing hungry people needed were hints on cutting back and making do. Instead, she gives her readers license to dream, to experiment, to construct adventurous and delicious meals as a bulwark against a dreary, meager present. Her fine prose provides reason in itself to draw our chairs close to the hearth; we can still enjoy her company and her exhortations to celebrate life by eating well.
This next one is taking forever to get through because there is so much to think about and reflect upon. Few books have challenged my like Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God by Dallas Willard.
"God spoke to me." "The Spirit spoke to my heart." "God revealed the idea to me." Being close to God means communicating with him--telling him what is on our hearts in prayer and hearing and understanding what he is saying to us. It is this second half of our conversation with God that is so important but that can also be so difficult. How do we hear his voice? How can we be sure that what we think we hear is not our own subconscious? What role does the Bible play? What if what God says to us is not clear? The key, says best-selling author Dallas Willard, is to focus not so much on individual actions and decisions as on building our personal relationship with our Creator.
I keep going back to this one as I tweak my daily routines, most recently my evening routine.
Daily Rituals: How Artists Work is chock full of examples sharing how some of history's most productive people arranged their day.
Franz Kafka, frustrated with his living quarters and day job, wrote in a letter to Felice Bauer in 1912, “time is short, my strength is limited, the office is a horror, the apartment is noisy, and if a pleasant, straightforward life is not possible then one must try to wriggle through by subtle maneuvers.”
Kafka is one of 161 inspired—and inspiring—minds, among them, novelists, poets, playwrights, painters, philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians, who describe how they subtly maneuver the many (self-inflicted) obstacles and (self-imposed) daily rituals to get done the work they love to do, whether by waking early or staying up late; whether by self-medicating with doughnuts or bathing, drinking vast quantities of coffee, or taking long daily walks.
This is a recent Kindle deal that I've been wanting to read for years. I grabbed You Learn by Living for just $1.99. I was so inspired by the book that I created a printable of one of my favorite Eleanor Roosevelt quotes.
Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each new thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down.
Eleanor Roosevelt, one of the world’s best loved and most admired public figures, offers a wise and intimate guide on how to overcome fears, embrace challenges as opportunities, and cultivate civic pride: You Learn by Living.
I'm linking up with one of my favorite bloggers, Modern Mrs. Darcy, today. Head on over to see what others are reading now.