That’s art; isn’t it?!

It really is looking like fall on Morter Farm in the last few days!  The volunteer pumpkin vines are dying off and leaving the most amazing bounty of pumpkins we’ve had in recent years!  Notice I said, “volunteer.”  That’s because the pumpkins we planted only produced two small white “ghost” pumpkins.  The remainders pictured are the hardy gypsies that appeared to rise from the mist of the compost pile.  What a happy surprise that was! 

So, I took this as a sign.  Time to tie up corn stalks to the gateposts and scatter these pumpkin gifts around them . . . even though temperatures are still in the 80s.  Ugh!  However, with the approach of Hurricane Sally, my fingers are crossed that the 80s will turn into 70s, and the evenings be true fall material.

Also, in celebration of my official proclamation that “It’s fall now,” I got out my favorite fall book, Autumn – From the Heart of the Home by Susan Branch.  

Susan’s books are unique because they aren’t typeset in the traditional sense. Instead, every letter, every word, even the index is hand lettered.  Every page is a work of art in watercolor.  And, if that were the end of it, that alone would be amazing.  But, there’s more!  She has the most amazing recipes, holiday suggestions, poetry, quotes and stories to share.  

The layout of the pages, the artistry, the lettering combined with the prose, all make up a complete package, which is so much more than just a sum of the parts.  

Of course, that’s art, isn’t it?

Reading Dinosaurs

I have a saying on my letter board at home to celebrate back-to-school, which reads, “Dinosaurs didn’t read.  Now they’re extinct.  Coincidence?”  I placed these letters on the board to be funny and to be a little serious, too.  Reading is important.  Reading from points of view outside of your own is what makes it important.  If you only read books by authors who you can completely relate to on every level, you might be entertained, but you won’t learn anything. 

Oh, usually reading is for our entertainment though, right?  And, even then, hopefully you learn something – a point of view from a character you never considered before, a situation you hadn’t imagined before.  Fiction or non-fiction, it doesn’t matter really.  Fiction is just made-up circumstances about made-up characters, but all come from the mind of the author, and therefore their experiences with life and people.

I find that the most memorable books I read are the ones about topics I don’t know much of anything about or that are written by people who live very different lives from my own.  These are the books I learn something from.  Like having a great teacher in school – they stand out for you because they move you toward a higher version of yourself.  They teach you something.

And, here’s the most interesting part of reading books, either with characters vastly different from you or by an author who has had a vastly different life experience than you have:  at some level, you will be able to relate.  And right there is where the magic happens.  This is truly the tie that binds.

That’s how it was for me with the book, Untamed by Glennon Doyle.  Here is an author with a very different life experience from me.  But, on some very important levels, I found our common ground.  And because of that, I could better respect her point of view on the things I see a bit differently.  It’s a “live and let live” thing, based on respect for individual perspective. And that, to me, can be taught effectively through reading.

Who knows?  Maybe dinosaurs did read!  If so, I suspect they only read books about themselves. Maybe if they’d branched out a bit in the science perspective? LOL! We’ll never know for sure.