The Rowdy Goddess

An Ecstatic Vision of the Goddess, dancing in harmony with the Universe.

Archive for the category “books”

A Life Through Reading

A Life through Reading

My parents were/are readers. I have some wonderful memories of my parents readings bits and pieces of books to each other and to us. They found this one author really hilarious. So one of them would read the book first and then read funny bits to us out loud. Then the other would read the same books and read different funny bits out loud. After my parents separated, and I lived (as an adult) with my mother. She’d continue to read bits of books and the paper out loud to me. I thought it was normal.

When I moved away from the Washington D.C. area, I discovered that one of the things I really missed was the Washington Post. Then when I had the opportunity to subscribe on my e-book reader, I discovered what I really missed was my mother reading it out loud to me. I read out loud to other people. In one relationship that didn’t work out, he really didn’t get what I was doing. He didn’t think it was fun, cool, or endearing. Lucky for me, Mike finds it endearing; maybe he pretends but he pretends! I think we’d still get along if he didn’t but you know some things are a real litmus test…

When she retired at age 55, my mother got to read all the time, something years of teaching didn’t allow. She’d go to the library and get shelves of books. To prevent taking out the same book, she started a notebooks of things she had read. Organized (of course!) by author’s last name, she kept track of authors and titles. Somewhere along the way, my brother and sister put the book into a word processing program, and then printed it off. The notebook which we all call The BOOK, is in a binder with alphabetical tabs. She’s eighty now and the book is substantial and hefty. A lot of the times, my youngest brother goes to the library for her. He takes The BOOK with him and consults it. The librarians know him and The BOOK. My niece was visiting and she took The BOOK to the library but she got things my mother had already read. She said to me, “I don’t use The BOOK right.” “Ah grasshopper,” I said, “It takes years to get wise in the way of The BOOK.”

My mother reads mostly mysteries and several years ago I started reading them again so we’d have some things to talk about and read out loud to each other. Now I consult The BOOK for ideas what to read next. We have different tastes, but I can rely on her for some pretty cogent and succinct assessments.

I have a BOOK of sorts of my own. I use the online community of Good Reads. It’s a cool place similar to this blog where you can write about what you read, and then read what others write about books. It’s very cool. I think it combines two things I love: writing and reading. You can find me at if you are interested in reading what I write about what I read. Perhaps in 25 years, it will be The BOOK for me.

So in these week of love remembered, read something you love. Go to the library and rekindle your love of reading.


By the Sea, by the Sea, by the Beautiful Sea

I’m just back from a week visiting my mother who lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, part of the Delmarva peninsula. She lives half-an-hour from the Atlantic oceans beaches. The farm where she lives was my grandparents and the place we spent our summers. We also camped along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean on Assateague Island and on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. One of my dream vacations is to visit all the National Seashores. The other is to stay in-season on a hotel with a pool on the boardwalk of Ocean City, like the Comfort Inn but maybe something with a bigger pool.
The beach is a wonderful place. The sounds of the waves crashing on the beach, the smell of salt water in the air, the heat of the sun, and, in the summer, the sounds of people talking and laughing. It’s an incredibly magical place. Sometimes you can see a school of dolphins swimming on the horizons while gulls fly overhead. Further out, larger birds such as osprey and brown pelicans fly and hunt in and out of the waves. It’s peace and mystery.

We saw an ocean kayaker suit himself up to go out onto the water. First he zipped himself into his kayak, and then he waited on the sand until the tiniest wave went underneath his kayak. Using his fingers, hands, and arms, he inched his way further into the water. When the waves receded, he waited until another came. Again, using his fingers, hands, and arms, he moved a few more inches into the water. Again and again, the waves ebbed and flowed as he inched his way further away from land and into the water. Finally he was afloat with not a lot of water. Then he was able to use his oar and move more quickly and gracefully into the water until he got beyond the breakers.

While on the beach, read a bunch of books. One of them was Sea Magic by Sandra Kynes. It is full of wisdom and power. She provides facts and information about the oceans and seas, the currents, the inhabitants, the myths, and the stories. There is a lot about shell magic and using shells and ocean waters in devotions, oracular work, and magic. It’s very well-written with an inviting style–you want to keep reading. In some ways she’s captured that magical rhythm of the waves in the cadence of her writing. It’s a strong book, well written and researched.

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