Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Silence and Quiet (and kale)



Some snapshots from the last few months:

1  |  The perfect book pair. I had been meaning to read Susan Cain's Quiet. The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking ever since its publication spawned myriad articles, talks and interviews. This summer I finally bought it in a small independent bookshop in West Cork (sometimes it is nice to wait for serendipity - I will always remember where I got this book). It has helped me focus on the positive sides of my (often extreme) introversion instead of beating myself up for the downsides, of which there are many: to name just one example, in my thirties I still have a phone phobia that means I have to settle and prepare myself in a quiet room to ring places such as the dental surgery, and I will shake when making those calls.
My sister-in-law gave me explorer Erling Kagge's book Silence in the Age of Noise, and I read his philosophical vignettes parallel to Quiet

2  |   Light-and-shadow patterns in the living room

3  |  Kale is officially this year's polytunnel star - it has been thriving. I add it to nearly every meal I make and we have been giving a lot away, yet I still cannot keep up.
Cut off in the corner of this photo is my paperback of The Dutch House by Ann Patchett, another book that had been on my list for a while and that also 'came to me' when I was browsing that new-to-me bookshop on holiday. I had given my mum a hardcover copy a year earlier. Patchett is one of my favourite writers, and this may well be my favourite novel of hers - it also fit perfectly with my ongoing preoccupation with the symbolism of houses (I still have strange dreams about my childhood home). I love the story behind the painting on the cover: Patchett commissioned an artist friend, Noah Saterstrom, to paint one of the main characters for the book jacket, and the mesmerising portrait has taken on a life of its own.
Speaking of paintings, I only realised after I had taken the photo of the kale bouquet that John is in it twice - on the couch in the background and in the painting on the wall, both in profile and in the same shirt!

4  |  More light at play. An (indoor) plant that hasn't been thriving is the money plant a friend and former housemate gave me over ten years ago when she moved out. It is down to a stump, with some struggling tiny green leaves that I won't give up on. I am fairly certain that where we put it is not the correct location according to Feng Shui, but refuse to worry about what this might signify. But the citrus trees are doing well, thanks to John's green fingers and my nephew's diligent watering (it is one of the first things he will check whenever he visits - he loves refilling the drip-watering glass bird planters). 
We have the late Tim Robinson's Burren map in the living room (from where we can look out across the bay at the Burren) and his Aran Islands map in the guest room.

1 comment:

  1. I got this book on a recommendation on a forum where I was researching about how to be more confident a person. I just want to say, if you are an introvert, buy this book right now. You won't regret it. Regards Naomi