Amba over at Ambivablog tagged me last week. Its my first tag as a Blogger, and I got that rush she wrote about, first felt playing tagging elementary school games. Since Solstice, we’ve been traveling and now, ramping up with a new semester’s course load, I’m starting to get back into the rhythm that allows time for at least sporadic blogging. This tag is a great one, though. I’m happy to (belatedly) throw in and pass it on.
1) Name a book that you want to share so much that you keep giving away copies.
The Sweet Everlasting by Judson Mitcham. I started this book one evening after supper and came to at four am, heart racing, reading and re-reading the last pages. I never did fall asleep. I gave the (borrowed) copy back and immediately ordered two for myself. I have managed to keep my hands on one. It is a beautifully woven story of growing up and being grown up in the old deep south, with all the scents and sounds and beauty of that landscape, and the brutality of it.
If they were easier to get hold of, I would give away copies of George MacDonald’s The Golden Key to everyone I spoke to. Unfortunately, the most accessible copies are abridged, and I have yet to find an in-print volume containing that single story. If you can get your hands on it, do. There is a link to the entire text on my sidebar, but I am loathe to recommend reading such a jewel on a glowing LCD. It needs a fireplace, hot chocolate, thick quilts. And most of all, it needs to be read aloud.
2) Name a piece of music that changed the way you listen to music.
My musical tastes aren’t very high-brow. In fact, I don’t really listen to all that much music. I never have. I was sheltered from everything except Beach Boys and Mannheim Steamroller Christmas growing up, and had very limiting obsession with CCM in early adolescence. My junior year, a friend lent me an Indigo Girls album. The Wood Song struck an angst ridden adolescent chord, and that lilting violin riff forever changed my understanding of what music was about, why people listen to it, make it, and how it can change them. It also gently nudged me into the understanding that secular music isn't actually evil.
3) Name a film you can watch again and again without fatigue.
I am a sucker for coming-of-age stories. Especially those of kids from the Western world learning about the rest of it far from their homeland. It doesn't take much to analyze that one. For a long time, “Empire of the Sun” was the only movie I would watch repeatedly. Since “Nowhere in
4) Name a performer for whom you suspend all disbelief.
Daniel Day-Lewis. Christian Bale.
5) Name a work of art you’d like to live with.
There is a piece I saw in college, at the Art Institute of Chicago, that I wish I had now. It was an installation of waves, photographs of waves, all monotone with the ripples reflecting the faces of the viewers, almost moving in the glass. I miss the ocean.
6) Name a work of fiction which has penetrated your real life.
I read Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible while on an airplane flying out to work for six months with street children back home in Jakarta, occasionally (and horrifyingly) alongside missionaries nearly as insane and insidious as those in the book. It threw those I had to deal with in sharp relief, while giving me a story to work from in my own explorations of, and eventual dive into, the world the street kids inhabited. A world so physically close to yet so very far from my own TCK upbringing, I needed that nudge to get in with both feet.
7) Name a punchline that always makes you laugh.
“So you’re saying I’m fat?!?”
Well, it’s not exactly a punch line. But enough of a long-running college joke that we’re still using it, and laughing, years later.