Monday, April 26, 2010

Hungers, Spoken and Unspoken

Day 76 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project. Ruth is reading An Unpoken Hunger, by Terry Tempest Williams, because she shares this author's love of the earth.

At the women's retreat I attended this weekend, Ruth called me over to read aloud from the book, "Home is the range of one's instincts," a sort of roving definition that expanded the territory of my mind for the rest of the day. I pondered the instincts, first, of our rescued stray cat in Chicago, whose nocturnal territory was wide but who came home every morning for food and love; when we moved, and as he aged, he made his territory smaller, staying indoors more and more, finally preferring to sleep in my hair.

I pondered the instinct to return home, followed by so many writers and artists, sometimes occasioned by damages in the wider world, or the recognition of various and real internal fragilities and radical uncertainities. Even yesterday's Mennonite in a Little Black Dress has this theme, this circumstance, announced in its subtitle: A Memoir of Going Home.

The Williams quotation echoes that song I loved as a child, so the phrase, "Home, home on the range" sang inside me for a while, and its evocation of a wilderness home, a roaming home, and a paradox of no-home-but-longing, or no-home-but-movement.

An unspoken hunger gnaws at our bellies, many of us.

But not Marie, who is reading Everything Tastes Better with Bacon, by Sara Perry. Its cover, a fabulous 3-decker BLT, made a lot of us drool, though not the vegetarians.

Marie confessed that, as of the time her husband got the results of his cholesterol tests, she is also reading Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Cooking, 4th Edition, Delicious Recipes to Help You Lower Your Cholesterol, offered by the American Heart Association.

Marie really does read cookbooks the way some of us read novels--voraciously! And reading does not have cholesterol or calories. Cooking is Marie's creative outlet, and the books give her inspiration as well as practical knowledge and advice.


Kim said...

Add to the home theme books, Home, by Marilynne Robinson, who you've mentioned before in your blog. The music that comes to me when I think of home is featured in this book, the hymn that say "Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, calling o sinner come home." The word sinner is a stumbling block to some of us, but the message of the song and the refrain, "come home, come home, ye who are weary come home" is truly tender.

Kathleen said...

Very sweet, Kim. But I am holding out for Fishnets for Jesus: The Negligee Choir, singing "Here I Am, Lord."