What I’m reading

What I’m Reading. Or actually, some of what I’ve read this year. I had set a goal to read two books a month, and while I’m falling very short of that goal, I’m not doing terrible. I’m much better at reading than I am writing about what I’m reading. But here’s some of that anyway. Enjoy!

The Final Revival of Opal & Nev

Dawnie Walton

Why I read it: This book was recommended in one of my Facebook Book Clubs. I always want to read along with others but I can never keep a schedule.

Synopsis: The Final Revival of Opal & Nev chronicles the lives of fictional band mates Opal Jewel and Nev Charles from their origin in the early 70’s to their final performance in 2016. 

Reaction: This was one of the most immersive novels I’ve ever read. It’s a whole experience. The story is told through an interview, with commentary included from recognizable musicians from the 70’s through today, which gives authenticity to the music duo. I actually googled them to see if they were real because I wanted to hear their music. This book challenged me and made me ask myself uncomfortable questions.  I love it when a book holds up a mirror and shows you an ugly truth about yourself. Am I truly willing to walk the talk of an ally? I have a lot of work to do.

The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music

Dave Grohl

Why I read it: I’m a Foo Fighters fan from way back. Not a superfan, I mean, I’ve never seen them live, but I do enjoy their music and what I’ve seen of Dave Grohl in the media, he just seems like a genuine great guy. That, and I had some credits on Audible so I got it for free.

Synopsis: Stories from the life of Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl.

Reaction: Dave Grohl’s life is infinitely more interesting than my own. But to hear him tell his own story is like listening to one of your guy friends telling you about some incredible dream he is having. Like he can’t believe it either, and the whole time you’re both just like, “What? No way! You’re kidding! This really happened??” Such a fun listen. The part that stuck with me the most, I think, is how he knew who he was from the time he was a child, and his mother loved him enough to let him go and it made all the difference in the world to him. I was more interested in the parts about his mother than any of the rock and roll stories. I would love to read a book by Dave Grohl’s mother. Does she have a book? The Nirvana days were interesting as they were part of my high school soundtrack, and of course I remember where I was when I heard that Curt Cobain had died. And during the time I was listening to this book, Taylor Hawkins sadly and unexpectedly passed away, which added a deeper layer of heartbreak to the story. Overall, the thoughts I had throughout were, “Wow. What a life. What an amazing life.” I loved this book.

The School For Good Mothers

Jessamine Chan

Why I read it: ScaryMommy book club recommendation.

Synopsis: Frida Liu is a mother who had a “very bad” parenting day, leaving her toddler home alone for two hours, which results in calls to the police and CPS, and eventually lands Frida in a mothering reform school. 

Reaction: This book was dark and infuriating. At first I found it difficult to sympathize with Frida, because she did something very bad. But as the story developed I was surprised that she hadn’t flown into a murderous rage or jumped off a bridge. It really brought home the burdens women are asked to carry and how quick we are to punish women rather than support them. As I was reading the stories of the mothers in the reform school I was reminded of the times I left my kid in the car while I went in to pay for gas and hoped no one called the police on me. Or how I let my kids play outside unsupervised and I hope no one calls the police on me. Or I let my kid ride his bike to the store and I hope no one calls the police on me. Good grief, this world we live in.

Petal by Petal

Petal by petal, each opening day

presenting itself in its perfect way.

Reveling in every moment sublime,

revealing nothing before its time.

The delicate softness, the biting thorn,

Something to celebrate, something to mourn.

Sticky sweet nectar the butterfly brings,

will also attract the honey bee stings.

The darkness, the light, embrace every day

Until, petal by petal, they all fall away.

Rusty

A rusty, dusty instrument

abandoned on a shelf

used roughly and uncared for

it cannot play itself

but it still contains the music

that could stir the souls of men

it’s all inside, all it needs

is one skilled pair of hands

to pluck the strings

and make it sing

just like it did before

it was put away

to sit and stay

unused forevermore.

Photo by Jessica Lewis Creative on Pexels.com

Blessing

Photo by Hernan Pauccara on Pexels.com

A blessing in disguise

is the very best kind.

When everything seems all wrong,

and your heart is wrung with sadness-

the proverbial ‘dark night of the soul’,

the breaking dawn reveals

a deeper understanding,

a deeper gratitude.

Pain is the price of wisdom.

To 2022

In the coming year,

the only drama I want to see

is that of a bird taking flight,

or a riotous garden of blooms.

The only shade thrown is

sunlight through leaves.

The only influencer I want to follow

is the one who encourages me

to be still, the one who welcomes me

with branches spread wide,

like grandmother’s arms,

the one who caresses my face

with winds that whisper in high tree tops-

“Welcome home.”

© Amy Porterfield 2021

Burying Yesterdays

In response to February Writing Prompts at Putting My Feet in the Dirt. (I love these prompts! Thank you so much for the inspiration!)

Burying Yesterdays

I buried my yesterdays,

buried them deep

in the rich earth.

I nourished them with tears,

warmed them with joy,

and watched them grow

into a beautiful today,

fortified by wisdom,

wanting nothing more

than to stand in the

light of now

and be happy.

© Amy Porterfield 2021

Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Pexels.com

Cataclysmic Reductions

My response to today’s prompt at ‘Putting My Feet in the Dirt’, which can be found here:

October Writing Prompts

Today’s poem was inspired by this photo from my friend in Colorado, of the smoke from the fire near Estes Park (The Stanley Hotel from the Shining is there). She says the place this photo was taken is about an hour away from her home, and while she is fairly sure they will be safe, it is getting pretty close. Prayers for everyone affected by the fires in Colorado!

Cataclysmic Reduction, haiku

Fire on the mountain

cataclysmic reduction

rampant destruction

© Amy Porterfield 2020