Monday, October 12, 2009


Have you read this book?

When you are paying attention, you notice....

Patterns. Connections. Puzzles. Art as truth.

Love it!

pg. 8

Then Ms. Hussey asked if anyone in the class had ever received a truly extraordinary letter. No one had. Ms. Hussey looked very interested. They had ended up with a strange assignment.

"Let's see what we can find," Ms. Hussey began. "Ask an adult to tell you about a letter they will never forget. I'm talking about a piece of mail that changed their life. How old were they when they got it? Where were they when they opened it? Do they still have it?"

....Ms. Hussey suddenly clapped her hands, making Petra jump and setting the little pearl earring into orbit. "I know! Once you find a letter that changed a life, sit down and write me a letter. Write me a letter I won't be able to forget."

pg. 36

"You know," Ms. Hussey said finally, "Picasso said that art is a lie, but a lie that tells the truth."

pg. 247

My lie is that I am only canvas and pigment. My truth is that I am alive. Some might call this your imagination, but it's not. Art, as you know, is about ideas. I am as real as your blue china or the boy with the box or the girl who dreamed about me. I am very much here.

pp. 78-79

Too many people apologize when they are caught enjoying a book of fiction; they are afraid that it will be considered a waste of time and that they ought to be reading a biography or a book of information on how to pot plants. Is Jane Eyre not true? Did Conrad, turning to the writing of fiction in his sixties, not search there for truth? Was Melville, writing about the sea and the great conflict between a man and a whale, not delving for a deeper truth than we can find in any number of how-to books?

And Shakespeare and all the other dramatists before and after him! Are they not revealers of truth?

pp. 90-91

And what is real? Does the work of art have a reality beyong that of the artist's vision, beyond whatever has been set down on canvas, paper, musical notations? If the artist is the servant of the work, if each work of art, great or small, is the result of an annunciation, then it does.

Hamlet is. When the play has been read, when the curtain goes down on the performance, Hamlet still is. He is, in all his ambivalence, as real as Byron or as the man who cried out, "Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief," or as Ivan Karamazov. The flight of stairs up which George MacDonald's princess had to climb would be there whether or not MacDonald had ever written The Princess and the Goblin. The storm still rages around King Lear. The joy of Bach's gigue at the end of the Fifth French Suite does not depend on a piano for its being.

the blue ones

Write a Letter

Read Something Lovely

Those romance book suggestions I asked for a while ago?
Guess what I then added to my list and also arrived a couple days ago in a red envelope:

Speaking of connections...

Romance Movies, Scarlett Johansson
I rewatched this favorite a week or two ago:
(Costuming and setting: Oooh, la, la!!!!)

I feel a rabbit trail coming on...

Oscar Wilde
Minnie Driver cracks. me. up. in this one:

Oooh, lookie. It's Colin Firth (and Oscar Wilde and Rupert Everett....), again:

Speaking of Colin Firth, I also rewatched Pride & Prejudice last week!

Enough with the rabbit trails, already!
(Frog trails?)

I'm going to go put on my pearl earrings and get to work.
We're studying Vermeer. And Shakespeare.
(I just finished reading The Shakespeare Stealer... Hamlet, again! Review coming.)
And beginning our next read-aloud, The Princess and the Goblin.
And listening to a little Bach.
And making pentominoes for our math lesson.
And sorting and counting (and eating) M&Ms.
And diving head-long into my book club selection for this month, Jane Eyre.
And placing A Swiftly Tilting Planet precariously at the top of my towering and tilting book stack.



Jilly said...

We've been reading an abridged version of the Princess and the Goblin at bed time around here. My son is loving it. He keeps saying, "This is so good! This is SO good!". On re-reading it, I've realized that my personal image of the Holy Spirit is strongly based on Irene's grandmother. It reminds me of how important it is to help kids cultivate an imagination full of rich, Christian imagery.

Skeller said...

I just added good woman and ideal husband to my Netflix queu. Thanks!

I liked Chasing Vermeer. Loved Shakespeare Stealer and Princess/Goblin. Girl with a Pearl Earring ... I'll be interested to hear your response. I remember loving the beginning and losing the love somewhere in the second half when I figured out where the book was going (of course, now I can't remember for the life of me what the issue was ... I can hold a book's content in my head for approximately 2.2 days after reading it. grin. sigh.)

And Jane Eyre. Well, y'know. I love that book. I hope you like it better this time thru... at the very least, you know there's chocolate waiting for you at the book club at the end of it!! ;-)

Beth said...

I just finished Jane Eyre at the suggestion of one of your commentors. Oh. My. That has to be one of the best love stories I've ever read! So powerful, the love those two have. Amazing. I hope you enjoy it (again?).

Christina said...

Is that the Madeline L'Engle book where she talks about how she thinks we'll meet our favorite fictional characters in heaven? I think about that statement frequently- what an awesome idea. She was such an amazing author and has greatly influenced me ever since I was 12 and started reading her books.

Heidi said...

Jilly~ It has been a long time since I've read it, but I know Levi will love it. Looking forward to getting started!

Skeller~ If you like Earnest, you should enjoy An Ideal Husband. A Good Woman (Lady Windermere's Fan) is more serious. I'm not sure about Helen Hunt (though I love her in other movies), but other than her, I loved the movie. I think I enjoyed Vermeer so much because it synthesized so wonderfully and unexpectedly with L'Engle's Walking on Water. I thought The Shakespeare Stealer was wonderful. I think I'll pass on reading Girl with a Pearl Earring. The movie did an excellent job capturing the colors, costumes, and feel of that era (many of the costumes were based on his paintings) and I'm very glad I watched it as it really helps me visualize that place and time (and his paintings come alive), but I wouldn't consider it a beautiful love story as Vermeer was married to another woman (and he and Gritte were parted)... Golly, that was a clunky sentence! I don't remember books well, either. Mostly just whether I liked them or not, so I completely understand. :)

Beth~ I'll let you and Susan know what I think of Jane Eyre as soon as I'm finished. I read it a long time ago, so we'll see if I feel differently about it at this place in my life...

Christina~ I haven't reached the place where she talks about fictional characters in heaven, but that sounds about right. :) I'm really loving the book!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all the great inspiration! Hope to see you Thursday in McMinn. :) ~Tera

carole said...

Just chiming in to sigh and say how much I love Jane Eyre. As well as George MacDonald. I've been looking for The Princess and the Goblin at our libraries and haven't had success yet. It's definitely on our list of "would like to read out loud sometime soon" books. We are currently in the beginning of Understood Betsy.

And it's been years and years, but I do remember loving the mind-stretching C.S. Lewis science fiction trilogy. (I just picked up his 'Till We Have Faces the other night and am already engrossed...)

Heidi said...

Carole~ It has been a while since I've read The Space Trilogy (Lewis), but I've read the books multiple times and LOVE them. Haven't read Till We Have Faces yet. It is on my endless to-read list. :)

Mon Cheri said...

If I had to pick a favorite C.S.Lewis book it would be the middle one of the space trilogy,Peralandra. I love anything of his tho'!