Saturday, September 12, 2009

May Sarton and Knitting

"I look forward with joy to the years ahead and especially to the surprises that the day may bring."
...May Sarton

In this photo, I am holding my 2 week old great grand daughter, Isabella. This is one of the most special joys that I could ever have experienced this week. And, each day brings an abundance of joys.

Today, I started reading May Sarton's book, At Seventy...A Journal. Within a few pages I found that this journal is inspired and uplifting and honest. Last week, I read her journal At Eighty-Two and it was so moving to be a part, through reading, of someone's daily life. I believe this was her last journal before she died. May Sarton can teach us how wo age with grace and courage.

A number of years ago, I had decided to begin collecting books that I wanted to read when I retired. I have a large collection of May Sarton's books on a shelf, as I collected them one by one mostly through purchases on Ebay. In addition to those books, I collected a number of shelves of books of poetry. I have them in alphabetical order on four shelves built on the wall. Each shelf is about 5 feet long, here in my office. The Sarton books are together on a shelf in a hutch nearby. On the other two shelves of that hutch are collections of poetry on tape, by the authors of that poetry. And, there are more books on poetry, writing poetry, and other books that are poetry related. These shelves are probably 4 feet long. I have lots of poetry books. I am wild about good poetry.

On some other shelves, are books by and about Native Americans, and books by and about German authors and Germanic culture. These are all things that hold special interest for me.
And, yet, other shelves hold art books. I am an artist and was an art professor.

Why do I love these books so much? I collected them for years, in anticipation of my retirement from my teaching position at a college where I taught in the Arts and Humanities program. This was to be how I would spend the years of my retirement. I would be reading all these books.

Something unexpected happened to me nearly two years ago. I lost much of my eyesight. Now, I cannot ever read all the books that surround me. At least, I cannot read them with my eyes. But, I love knowing the books are here, surrounding me, and lifting my spirits at just their presence.

I plan to read these books in my retirement, just as I have always planned to do. But, now, the books will be read by listening to them on tape. I have begun this reading project. I have begun by reading the two books by May Sarton that I spoke about in my opening sentences.

My daughter reminded me recently that now I can both read the books, and can knit at the same time. Thus, I am doing two things I love to do. Reading and Knitting. It's great! I find joy in every day, and will find joy in the years ahead and especially the new surprises that today may bring. Thank you, May, for speaking to my heart today.

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