I’m one of those people who always seems to be waiting for, preparing for, anticipating, and/or dreading some future big thing. It’s good to remind myself to stop looking ahead and appreciate some little things. I also think it’s good to share.
Little things I’m reading:
The Thing Around Your Neck is a collection of short stories by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie recommended and pressed into my hands by my niece. I’m enjoying it. I don’t feel fully engaged by her short stories, but the writing is excellent and I need to move her acclaimed novel, Americanah (also highly recommended by the niece) higher up my to-read pile. Adichie is a master of noting the little things; in the story Jumping Monkey Hill, the protagonist Ujunwa is attending a writer’s workshop and has just been introduced to the other participants.
Ujunwa looked around the table and wondered with whom she would get along. The Senegalese woman was the most promising, with the irreverent sparkle in her eyes and the Francophone accent and the streaks of silver in her fat dreadlocks. The Zimbabwean woman had longer, thinner dreadlocks, and the cowries in them clinked as she moved her head from side to side. She seemed hyper, overactive, and Ujunwa thought she might like her, but only the way she liked alcohol — in small amounts. The Kenyan and the Tanzanian looked ordinary, almost indistinguishable — tall men with wide foreheads who were wearing tattered beards and short-sleeved patterned shirts. She thought she would like them in the uninvested way that one likes nonthreatening people. She wasn’t sure about the South Africans: the white woman had a too-earnest face, humorless and free of makeup, and the black man looked patiently pious, like a Jehovah’s Witness who went from door to door and smiled when each was shut in his face. As for the Ugandan, Ujunwa had disliked him from the airport, and did so even more now.
I read Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson and Emily Carroll in one sitting yesterday while I was “volunteering” at the library. Actually, I did accomplish some useful things while I was there, but once I started on Speak, I had to finish. I loved the original young-adult novel when I read it years ago and the graphic novel was excellent, too. It packed a different, but equally visceral emotional punch.
Little things I’m watching:
I had been neglecting the bird feeders in the yard, but I finally got them cleaned up and refilled with fresh seed. This morning I watched a mamma red-bellied woodpecker grab a seed and hop up to a branch and feed it to her offspring. She did this several times before hopping up higher and calling encouragement to the young bird to sample the buffet himself. He was having none of this self-sufficiency business. She grabbed one more morsel for him and then they flew off together. I’ll be keeping an eye out, I hope to soon see this juvenile back on his own.
Little things that amuse me:
I have a bit of a front yard flowerbed reserved as my whimsy garden. Eventually I’d like to create a little fairy garden, but for now I’m using the space for a monthly series of gnomepun displays. Here are pictures of March, April and May.
What’s the point of having a blog if you can’t use it to showcase your own amusements. Here are some hints if you have no idea where I was going with these.
Think small and have a great day.