I love lists. I hate outlines, but I love lists. They allow me to think the same way I live: my own personalized version of organized chaos. I’m not dirty; I’m messy. I’m not organized, but live by lists. In this spirit I proffer my first, and very rough, version of the Summer List.
Books. I started out very decidedly and ambitiously attempting to read. A Lot. Anything that had nothing to do with school. Or at least if it did, because I chose it, not because it appeared on any page of a syllabus (required, recommended, suggested, further, or otherwise). The lament of every student. It’s not that we don’t want to read but it’s just that someone is making us read something other than the thing we think we most want to read. Right. All that to say: I (re)discovered quite a bit. At least in the first few weeks of summer. Read Anne Lamott’s new(est) book: Grace: Eventually. Barbara Brown Taylor’s Leaving Church is excellent, if you read the entire thing. If you give up (as I was tempted to) before the last section, it can only be described as mildly disappointed. Read Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye. Wow. Have read, also, quite a number of magazines. Resubscribed to Vanity Fair, and am gulping down my Paste Magazine issues by the eye-ful. Yum. Oh, and I finally finished The River Why (David James Duncan) and smacked myself around for letting it sit abandoned on the shelf for far too long. To make it up to the author’s efforts, I am over halfway finished with Duncan’s God Laughs and Plays and l-o-v-e it. I know nothing about fishing, and only spend nominal time in the Pacific Northwest, but reading his essays convince me of an alter ego of mine that lives somewhere between Oregon and Montana and enjoys sitting outside with a sun-brewed lemonade and a fishing rod. This alter ego has likely never had to read anything she did not first choose to lift off the shelf. Lucky her.