While reflecting on this year, realized I’m not quite sure what to say. A frank summary of challenges and tragic loss would be honest, but it overlooks the true joys and amazing new experiences the year brought. As it’s all part of the year, the makeup of 2015, and mostly all documented elsewhere in this little e-corner, thinking that’s enough for me. But-I can’t let the year end without noting some of my favorite 2015 discoveries from the shelves of the Oakland Public Library-the best quotes that stuck with me this year.
Since highlighting library books (tempting) is not ok, I find myself snapping photos of passages. Most end up deleted for more photo space, but these are some of quotes that stuck-either in memory or in my phone:
Roz Chast, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant
This image-of holding each other really tightly for eternity, hoping nothing ever changes-to me, sums up the naïveté, devotion and unity in marriage.
“Finally she said, ‘Tell me about it.’ Tell me about it. Tell me about the thing I have never experienced and cannot begin to understand. Tell me about the lives I haven’t led, the demons I’ve never faced.” Anna Quindlen, Thinking Out Loud
Frequently think of this line, and AQ’s story about the nuns in Boston, when I’m tempted to judge or draw a conclusion. Honestly, my innate judgmental instinct is powerful, and this reminder-that in every situation, there’s so much more that I don’t know, and lives, experiences, and demons I’ve never faced, that I should just listen and ask instead of judge-is tremendously helpful.
Was JUST talking about this today with Lauren at lunch. This realization, that “this long expanse” of time has passed, and our friends will never come home to each other again, felt even stronger this year.It’s all for good reasons, growing up, developing lives, but the shift away from that moment feels more keen with each year.
“Bring your whole self to work. I don’t believe we have a professional self Monday through Friday and a real self the rest of the time. It is all professional and it is all personal.” Sheryl Sanberg, Lean In
Reading this, spring 2015, made my jaw drop. What? It sounded so unprofessional-to burden your work life with your personal self. Fast forward a few days to David’s pneumonia, a huge learning experience, and bringing my whole self to work. And feeling even more gratitude and appreciation towards the amazing organization and people I work with.
The Last Love Song,Tracy Daugherty. Lots of Joan quotes-always make me think and smile.
I think every day and about whom I expect to think every day for the rest of my life. I think sometimes that he was an invention, and in some ways he is, because when the young are killed they are haloed by all that was possible, all that was plundered. He was kind. Generosity radiated off of him, and he seemed to have a facility with everyone and everything. This can never be true, but there are people who pull the illusion off without effort and (he) was one of them. I can only say what I saw, what I felt. There are people whom we do not fully know, and yet, they live in a place within us, and when they are plundered, when they lose their bodies and the dark energy disperses, the place becomes a wound.
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me
This speaks for itself. Saw someone share another beautiful Coates passage today and all I could think was-the world can be so difficult, thank goodness we have someone like Ta-Nehisi Coates writing to help us find our way through tragedy.
But now I see there’s no such thing as “a” woman, “one” woman. There are dozens inside every one of them. I probably should have figured this out sooner, but what child can see the women inside her mom, what with all the Motherness blocking out everything else? Kelly Corrigan, Glitter and Glue
Queen Kelly! Her perspective in both books on the process of growing up, the confusion and humbling realization being an adult and being a child, and trying to figure it all out, is beautiful.
And one more sweet Joan quote, “I saw myself through his eyes,” to close out the list.
Sending good wishes for a happy and peaceful New Years!