HEART KINDLING

Little things that feed the flame


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Fearless Living and Perseverance

At last, long shifts finished, my daughter sound asleep and I am in bed with my laptop, browsing my favourite blogs and just relaxing. I have not had the time for this kind of luxury for a while now. (Prefering to read real paper books before sleep, I rarely take my computer to bed with me. But I feel like I haven’t seen it for a good while now, thus the exception.) Our house stands on a hill, so we can see the rooftops of our little town out the bedroom window. Caught in the runmill of daily tasks and checklists, it is easy to forget how beautiful it all looks. I am taking the moment now to give out a loud sigh, relax my shoulders, and look out the window at the numerous street lights scattered in the dark. Life is good!

However, the blog stats say nobody has even taken a peek at this space of mine for the last week and I haven’t posted anything for eleven days. So I thought I would tell you a little about the last book I finished. It was a very easy, entertaining, and at the same time inspiring read.

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Catrina Davies’ book ‘The Ribbons Are For Fearlessness: A Journey‘ is a captivating story of adventure against all odds. Catrina lives her life clinging to safety and familiarity. After her cliff-climbing and sea-surfing boyfriend leaves her and her best friend unexpectedly dies, she is left drifting aimlessly with nothing to cling to.

Her solution? To buy an old van, put her cello in it, and go busking all across Europe. Continue reading

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‘The Signature of All Things’ by Elizabeth Gilbert

 

You see, I have never felt the need to invent a world beyond this world, for this world has always seemed large and beautiful enough for me. I have wondered why it is not large and beautiful enough for others– why they must dream up new and marvelous spheres, or long to live elsewhere, beyond this dominion… but that is not my business. We are all different, I suppose. All I ever wanted was to know this world. I can say now, as I reach my end, that I know quite a bit more of it than I knew when I arrived. Moreover, my little bit of knowledge has been added to all the other accumulated knowledge of history– added to the great library, as it were. That is no small feat, sir. Anyone who can say such a thing has lived a fortunate life.

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First of all, I have to say I have not started on the Russian classics yet (see my ‘flower-pot list’). I have not chosen a book. Nor have I decided whether to read it in English or Russian. The latter, being the original language, is, of course, preferable. However, I am questioning whether my knowledge of the language, after years of absence of proper practice of it, is suficient to get the most out of the book. The question is whether my understanding and enjoyment of the piece of literature will be hindered less by reading the original without always grasping the detail and nuance or by reading the translation into the language at which I am much more fluent now. I suppose as an ex-translator I should trust the work of my distant colleagues. However, I am very tempted to give Russian a try. Anyway, the year is young and I still have plenty of time to make these decisions.

Back to here and now. The quote at the start of this post belongs to Alma Whittaker, the woman of keen mind, the interesting protagonist of Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest novel The Signature of All Things. (The author is best known for her highly popular memoir Eat, Pray, Love. I have to admit I have not read it and thus had no preconceptions as to what to expect of this novel of hers.) The Signature of All Things stretches throughout some 500 pages and over one hundred years. From a short newspaper review, I got the impression this would be a story of a woman with a scientific mind in a male dominant world and her struggle to deviate from the certain path a woman was expected to take in the nineteenth century society. However, it was so much more than that. The novel tackles the issues of scientific vs divine, gender roles, love, sacrifice, happiness, sexuality, miracles, struggles of life. Amazing feat for a story set in the times so remote and different from our own. And yet, amazingly, so similar… Continue reading