This week was really fun for reading! I read a number of different things, so let me get started.
For starters, I read this wonderful NYT Essay about rudeness and how pervasive it is right now. The author’s stance was a little–British, but all in all, I thought it was a very timely read. She presents scenarios at airports, where immigration officers treat visitors like cattle– when she told one he needn’t be rude he replied “You’re rude”. These such things– and why people are so angry and rude. What does it bring them to act in such a way? After finishing reading the article I vowed to try to be a little more polite.
Next up, I read the first 42 pages of The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben. This book, even in its early pages, is undoubtedly a 5/5. I had the pleasure of reading the first 5 chapters while taking a long soak and recovering from some wicked food poisoning. So far I have already learned that trees have ‘senses’they use to communicate– they vibrate, send off aromas to trees hundreds of yards away to alert their neighbors of bugs on the way, they give off bitter tannins once they detect an insect eating leaves in order to make that bug’s lunch taste terrible. Who knew? Certainly not this lady. I have always had a very sincere relationship with nature. As a person who grew up in a significantly urban environment, it was not something that came ‘naturally’- ha. I found myself gardening at the age of 4 and 5. My dad moving his ’57 Chevy after a long winter to reveal a perfect rectangle that would be my plot. When I was 8 or so I got very interested in roses, which brought me much joy– I loved their soft petals and fragrance. Even when I went to college I had a hydroponic garden in my Washington Heights flat. This book has already taught me so much– I had no idea that trees should be grown as close together as possible in order to be most successful- that’s why forests exist in the first place! Trees feed one another through their roots system– they are the most organic socialists I’ve ever met. They literally take care of sick neighbors because they want to maintain their density. Trees exploit fungus to carry signaling molecules and glucose downstream. Amazing! I am looking forward to updating you as I complete this wonderful read.
Lastly, I read the entirety of Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. This is an epic poem divided into four parts– The Hurting, The Loving, The Breaking, The Healing. Each part is for different situations. Her language is so gentle. I am amazed how people can create such a feeling with words– there are some pen illustrations throughout as well. This poet is like a soft breeze, carrying you through your first heartbreak to your empowerment– yet never feeling too dark nor too bright. I loved it. This is certainly one to be revisited.
And how about all you out there?
5 comments on “Week 3: 556 pages or 27.6% of goal”
A few months ago, a friend posted an article about how the idea of being nice to one another was a relatively new concept (starting around the late 19th century, if I remember correctly). If I can locate the article I will share it here. Not to be a downer. People should be nice, at least respectful.
One tangent that came from my reading discussion at A.I.R. gallery came from another participant’s experience as a beekeeper and documentary filmmaker. They explained the communal aspects of the hive. Bees apparently don’t have individual immune systems. If disease arises, they breed stronger bees to combat it and the sick bees are known to self-sacrifice by leaving the hive and dying away from the community. I thought it was very interesting and your description of the forest reminded me of this. Perhaps if you haven’t read much of bees, this would be an interesting subject to explore.
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I’d love to see that article if you come upon it! I love bees and I’m really hoping they don’t all turn into cyborg bees (aka robobees).
I’m so interested in what you’ve written about The Hidden Life of Trees (and I’m only now emerging from the deep cover of deadline to reply to your post from last week!). I sent this book to my son for his 24th birthday, because as a child he was deeply fascinated with trees. Since we were living in Southern California then, most of the trees we knew were of the scrubby variety, spindly tall eucalyptus that everybody hated because they made the ground “messy” with bark, and also because they had the disconcerting ability to drop very heavy branches on people, or worse, their cars. But he loved the trees and cried when dozens of them were cut down to make the not-so-grand entrance to the university look “better.” I think that from what you’ve said about the book, I’ll have to get my own copy, too!
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And I’m sorry to hear you had food poisoning! So not fun, as I know from my salmonella-in-Paris experience.
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I knew you’d have serious empathy on the food poisoning front– lordy.