Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Sunday Salon

This has been one of those weeks where each day has felt like an alternate one (Thursday feeling like Friday, etc.), and dealing with a bout of insomnia isn't helping. Today is more of the same.  After a great dinner last night with friends, I came home late and was so wired I couldn't go to sleep.  (And going to bed at 11:30 p.m. felt like it was the middle of the afternoon - thanks to the coffee I'd had, and because I've been going to bed at 1:30 a.m. Forcing myself, really, because I'm just not tired.)

What I should have done last night was get up and read, but that wouldn't have helped because I'm on a streak of reading some amazing books this week.  (Instead I tossed and turned, woke up at 4 a.m. this morning, then closed my eyes "for just a little bit" at 1 p.m. before intending to spend the afternoon packing boxes that are unwilling to pack themselves ... and woke up at 4:30 p.m.)

So, you'll probably be seeing me cruising around the interwebs sometime around midnight or 1 a.m. tonight.

Unless I am reading my current book, which would be Caitlin Shetterly's memoir Made for You and Me: Going West, Going Broke, Finding Home. I'm only 25 pages into this book, but it's one that I can identify with.  Our circumstances are different than Caitlin's and her husband Dan, but similar in the sense that one of us (me) is among the current unemployment statistics and the housing crisis is dramatically affecting our ability to sell this house (and as a result, our savings).

The Husband and I are much, much luckier than most people - as Caitin also writes - but I can understand the emotions in the midst of phrases such as "...in our story of our lives falling apart while we tried to do whatever it took to take care of our son, our dog, and ourselves, we felt, essentially, flattened. Actually, it was worse than that:  What we felt was that we could no longer dream. That was, possibly, the most dangerous aspect of what happened to us." (pg. 3) 

So, yeah, this one is really resonating with me right now.  Caitlin is feeling like my new best friend.

And speaking of books that resonated with me (and which was the perfect lead-in to my wonderful reunion with friends I hadn't seen for years), can I tell you how much I absolutely LOVED Michael Cunningham's novel By Nightfall?  Loved this. Loved, loved, loved this. It's a Gatsby-esque and gorgeously written book about internal and external beauty, what happens to us when we feel that the beauty has gone out of our lives, and the ways in which our souls try to recapture our once-seemingly-eternal youth.

Through Cunningham's exquisitely rendered main character of Peter Harris, he makes us take an in-depth look at who we are as a person, how we relate to each other, and the questions we ask ourselves in the middle of the night as we sense our life becoming not what we anticipated. (Like me, the main character Peter has a touch of insomnia. Unlike me, he spends the wee small hours of the morning with a glass of vodka and a sleeping pill or two.)

There is so much I could tell you about By Nightfall, but you'll just have to wait for the review ... which is proving hard to write because, well, there's so much to tell you about this one.  Suffice it to say that this will be among the best books I've read all year. (Hell, the last 40 pages contain some of the best emotionally tense writing I've read EVER. They're of the sort where you might find yourself, oh, say ... procrastinating putting off making dinner for your kids, for example.  Not, you know, like I would know anything about that.  And yes, my kids are well-fed and regularly so.)

Last Sunday I skipped the Salon because I didn't feel like I had anything of substance to say.  What I would have said was probably how much I was loving Children and Fire by Ursula Hegi, who joins the aforementioned Michael Cunningham as one of my favorite authors. (To learn why she is, you need to read my review.)

Arrggh, Blogger just cut off the last paragraph of this post, which I just don't feel like recreating.  I loved Children and Fire. 


That is all. 



copyright 2011, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

2 comments:

Lisa said...

Our move was different from yours as well, but the unemployment/money aspects of the move have left me a bundle of mess. If you need to email, feel free to email me. I've been there (am there).

unfinishedperson.com said...

I have the opposite of insomnia today. I'm up early and I don't know why...however, I don't think I'm going to turn to vodka and sleeping pills. It's a bit early to drink vodka.