Poetry, prose, and post-birthday ponderings

I purchased a book of poetry today. Ever since Lauren Winner posted “Prayers for Our Daughters” on her blog, I have been wanting to read some Mark Jarman. I hear that Unholy Sonnets is one of his best, but I went ahead and ordered the one that features that poem: To the Green Man. That makes two books of poetry I’ve purchased in recent days. I’m trying, people. I just want you to know that.

I am currently reading Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson, the author of Gilead (which I read earlier and mentioned a time or two). Overall, I have to admit that I didn’t love Gilead, and I only finished it because, you know, it won the Pulitzer, so I thought I should. What’s interesting is that, though I’m enjoying Housekeeping a lot more than I did Gilead, I think the writing in Gilead was much more beautiful. I guess you can’t have everything.

Overall, in case you couldn’t tell, I had a very nice birthday. It’s not really over yet, to be honest – we still haven’t hung out with the Shearers and some of my family. So Birthday Week continues. I was thinking yesterday about a birthday I had a few years ago (in doing the math, I’m pretty sure it was the year I turned 23). I remember being profoundly disappointed that birthday . . . for some reason it seemed incredibly not special. Actually, the truth is that I seemed to be not particularly special to anyone (except Mike). My best friend was out of the country and we were already growing apart and I didn’t have anyone to replace her and of course I had friends and they did things for me, but that was when I really started struggling with feeling like my friends all had other people they were closer to, that I needed them more than they needed me. So, in looking back at this weekend, where I was surrounded with love and friendship, I feel like I should say: Look at the things I said just a year and a half ago, and look how much has changed. Look how full my life is compared to how empty it seemed. Look how my prayers have been answered.

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