Read, Dream, Love

I was reading a book a month or two ago, and one of the characters asked another, "What are your favorite books? What do you dream about? Whom do you love?" I thought those were interesting questions, the answers to which could be quite revealing. More revealing, perhaps, than the questions we usually ask when we're trying to get to know someone: "Where did you grow up? Do you have brothers and sisters? Where did you go to school?"

My favorite fiction books, in the approximate order read, are: Swimmy (Leo Lionni), The Little House series (Laura Ingalls Wilder), the Cherry Ames Student Nurse series (Helen Wells), the Anne of Green Gables series (L.M. Montgomery), The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger), The Thornbirds (Colleen McCullough), Gone with the Wind (Margaret Mitchell), The Odyssey (Homer, Rober Fitzgerald, trans.), Chesapeake (James Michener), The Distance Between Us (Valerie Sayers), The Bone People (Keri Hulme), The Deep End of the Ocean (Jacqueline Mitchard), Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plauge (Geraldine Brooks), Fortune's Rocks (Anita Shreve), Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen), The Last Time They Met (Anita Shreve), Ahab's Wife (Sena Jeter Naslund), The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver). Apparently, I can't remember anything I've read since 2001, which would be about right since that's when our oldest was born. It's also true that since then I've read a lot more poetry, non-fiction, biblical literature, and plays - and to list them I'll need another post, another day.

What I dream about: As a child, I had a recurring dream about being chased around a medieval-looking college campus by two professors.  We were on bikes.  Finally they would chase me into an empty room where there was a primitive painting of a witch on the wall.  The image of the witch would get bigger, bigger, bigger until it took up the whole room and then I'd wake up.  I used to have lots of dreams about terrible storms brewing and racing toward me across the landscape. I was always by myself with the kids and freaked out about how to keep them safe. All you armchair psychologists can pull those apart to your heart's content. Lately I dream a lot about churches: walking through churches, usually with Husband and the kids and sometimes with other people I know; touring churches; delighting in their beauty. There seem to be a lot of women priests in these dreams, which is interesting since I was raised Catholic. Last night I dreamt that I washed my kids and my brothers in my washing machine: hot water, extra washing soda for deodorizing. "Hey, there's no more hot water," they called out.  I wasn't too concerned about it.

Who I love: Husband, who I've known more than half my life; kiddos; my mom and dad, brothers, sisters-in-law, nephews. All my one million (approximately) aunts, uncles, cousins. I deeply love my soul friends, and when I start counting them I am amazed at how many people an introvert like me can call friend, and I feel so lucky. And I love all their kids, too (Wow - this is bringing happy tears to my eyes).

So, how about you? What are your favorite books? What do you dream about? Whom do you love?

P.S. The book that got me started on all this is The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield; buy it at your favorite local bookstore, or here.

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