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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Shediac River in September

Quiet hours watching the Shediac River, the changing leaves and tides, the boats floating with only a dog searching for the channel.

(Recent photos from the front of my sister's home.)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Rabbit and Fox

When my sister and brother-in-law rented a cottage at Darnley, Prince Edward Island earlier this month, they had visitors.  They shared these photos of the wildlife near their cottage.  The fox and the rabbit were not around at the same time.  Perhaps, a good thing.

The fox was on the deck and they took the photo through the window, hence the black bar from the window down through the photo.  Maybe the fox was used to finding food leftovers from other renters; he/she wasn't shy around people.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Cleveland Place Bookshop

What's better than a bookstore?  A bookstore selling used books.  Yes.  But what's even better?  A bookstore selling used books with a proprietor who will take my list of wants and track them down, then order them for me.

I'm talking about Cleveland Place Books, a unique bookshop on Main Street in Alma, NB; a bookshop owned by Jane and Steve Chrysostom.  www.cleveland-place.com

My want list of nearly thirty books is prohibitive, if I buy new books.  Steve found many of these books used and in like new or good condition.

On Sunday, we drove to Alma to pick up nine books; the first bunch that arrived at the bookshop.  I cradled them on my lap all the way home, leafing through, reading bits of poetry.  It was like my birthday, like Christmas, like the two together.

I know Steve will email soon when another group of books arrives.

The odd thing about my list...despite my removal of nine new-to-me books from my want list, I've added seventeen more; books recommended to me by people kind enough to suggest poetry that will help me learn about writing and improve my own poetry.

So, for Steve and for Cleveland Place Books and for me, it looks like we'll share a long term commitment to the book hunt.

Thank you, Steve and Jane.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Beach Photos Darnley PEI

My sister and her husband vacationed in Darnley PEI,
and sent these photos of views from their cottage windows. 
We weren't there but feel like we wanted to be
after seeing the pictures.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Summer Reading

New Brunswick Public Library Service
This is the library closest to me.
It is at Honour House Court, Riverview.
Summer reading has been summer studying.  I've switched from writing for hours a day to reading for hours a day over the past six weeks.  I'm studying the poetry I admire, to learn about how and why it works. 

Of course, I'm reading initially for enjoyment.  But when I see a poem or rather feel a poem reverberating within me, I go back to it to discover the why and how of it.  Every poet has a style and a voice, sometimes many; often changing over the span of their work.  I'm searching for those whose works have resonance with my life, my voice, my style, my work; or I with them.  And, too, exploring those different from mine.

After the initial burst of recognition and pleasure with a read, the studying begins.  It is quiet, sometimes lonely work and limited, as I don't know what I don't know.  I learn what I am able to learn and pay attention to what new areas the learning opens for me. 

I am lucky that there are generous writers and poets in my world, who have shared lists of poems and poets helpful to them in their own learning processes.  Lists have introduced me to work by my favourites writers, previously undiscovered work, and to new writers; not always new but new to me.  For that guidance, I am grateful.

Most of the books recommended are available through the New Brunswick Public Library Service.  The few which aren't, I am searching for in a store that sells used books.

At one time, when I was still working at paid employment, I would have methodically searched out these books and bought them, as funds permitted.  I love books and enjoy owning copies to remove from my shelf and read again and again.  But that extravagance is no longer possible and the library system will allow me to borrow books as often as I need.  The hunt through used book stores is a delightful tour of well loved books given up by other readers.

The summer has been about reading poetry and studying poetry.  It has been about learning to live lightly on this earth and giving up the need to own every book I read. 

It is also about the joy of discovering the intricacies and hard work that go into creating really fine poetry.  And discovering that people, whose poetry I admire to the point of feeling intimidated by their talent and craft, their hard work, are generous and kind in offering suggestions and reading lists, and their thoughts on my work.

I am thankful for these poets, for the library and for used book stores.  I have learned from each of them.  And while I will continue to read each day, it's time to return to my writing.

Thank you to every person who has helped me along the way.  You know who you are.