Category Archives: reading

At the Intersection of Art & Sports

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Painting by Nikhil Misra

 I am not a football fan. When a game is on in my house, I look at it as reading time and disappear into a quiet quarter with a good book. Or go for a nice long walk. If any spectator sport calls my name, that would have to be baseball. But this week I feel surprisingly inspired to write about football.

It isn’t everyday you win a Super Bowl. On Sunday, February 2nd Seattle did just that with the Seahawks, a first in the franchise history. This was new ground.

Even I was feeling it. Waking that morning before the game with a sudden desire for a flag in my window box or a banner hanging on my house, I went into town for some Seahawk memorabilia. But everything was sold out, all the scarves, the beads, the shirts…. everyone way ahead of me, by weeks. Then I remembered my stationery store where they inflated a bunch of bright blue and green balloons, making my day. Like a turned-around parade, I marched home on the sidewalk carrying the balloon bouquet as drivers honked and waved.

Now I could get down to the game, and you know how well that went.

Later that evening we found ourselves at the Hilltop Ale House in Queen Anne. Warmer than ever with a packed crowd, joyous cheers and hearty applause broke out for every “12th man” who walked through the door. Every one of us.

All the problems in the world, all the sadness. But for one glorious moment, we forgot. Together we forgot it all.

And to think I might have missed this.

note: As I write, the Seahawks are preparing to parade through downtown and “hundreds of thousands” are expected to attend. I can believe it, as my neighborhood is pouring out, every man, woman and child dressed in the colors. I wasn’t going to go that far. I’m just trying to attend the Northwest Flower & Garden Show at the Convention Center, and wondering how to get around the mob.

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Ghosts, the Sequel

Apparently I am not done with my blog post of last week (https://alittleelbowroom.com/2013/10/30/the-ghost-in-my-computer/) in which I lamented personal loss of writing time due to addiction to the internet. For no sooner had I posted it, when I turned around and realized yet another victim: my reading time. And by that I mean books, not comments and articles online.

Anyone who knows me, or knows who I was until recently, knows my home to be my personal library. Literature has long been considered sacred in this house. In graduate school we were required to read a book each week, and following graduation I continued the ritual in earnest for a couple of years. Until just recently, in fact.

The only danger, I had thought, would be the house imploding under the weight of books. Being a bibliophile at a time when so many others are unloading has been a delight second to none.

I read because I felt I must. I’m talking close reading. Carnivorously, with a yellow highlighter in hand like a fork. Because, as all readers know, literature can be so much better than life. And literature makes us better people. Also, as a writer I knew that the very best thing I could be doing, if not writing, was reading.

And that was my life. I missed films to maintain it, became an introvert to maintain it. And whether under the sun, on the sofa before the fireplace, seated a city bus or in a waiting room, I loved my solitary time spent with books. For that matter, I found my tribe by our mutual investment in time spent reading, as well as writing. And the fact that online addiction is infringing on this too….

Well, this is war!

For the past three weeks my husband has been in Napal on a trek in the Himalayas. Living alone and a little lonelier, I turned to the internet like never before. This is when, I think, I got into serious trouble. Or could it be that as he climbed the Himalayas, I realized how much trouble I was in?

Prayer flags there, falling leaves here….

I have kept a thick anthology of poetry at Copper Canyon Press in the back of my car for as long as I’ve owned the car (many years). “Poetry for emergencies,” I called it, should I ever break down and get stranded. Well maybe that moment is now.

“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” Mary Oliver

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