Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Dog Days

The heat and humidity of central Illinois hovers over August, the fair, the start of school...but, for now, I am still swimming in the early mornings, and still reading up a storm. After Eligible, I read Sisterland, also by Curtis Sittenfeld, borrowed from the library for a train trip. I learned about psychic powers, twins, and earthquakes.

Earlier, on vacation, I read Rosemary: the Hidden Kennedy Daughter, nonfiction by Kate Clifford Larson, a sort of sister-and-brotherland experience. Without psychic powers or earthquakes. But with Presidents and First Ladies....

And now, back to Sittenfeld, I am immersed in American Wife, reading it well after its scandalous timeliness in 2008, as it is a novel about a First Lady who strikingly resembles Laura Bush. So now I am learning about...a fictional Laura Bush. And enjoying the story and how it is unfolding. Two sentences have arrested me so far. "My grandmother assumed my loyalty, and this, surely, is the reason she got it." Yes, I am loyal to those who assume my loyalty, but I guess I've learned that it doesn't go both ways, alas. I've assumed that some people were loyal to me, who weren't. That's been a wake-up call that keeps ringing.

This same grandmother tells the main character, "We have to make mistakes. It's how we learn compassion for others." That's true for me, too! My mistakes awaken compassion in me as now I finally understand the behavior of others! And, mostly, forgive them. Even that loyalty thing!

I have already been to the beach this summer, the Lake Michigan beach, and there may be a weensy bit more of that, but today I went to the virtual beach via the art of Kazaan Viveiros. With dogs, via Dog Days 2016 at Escape Into Life.

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