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Sunday, December 4, 2016

"Soup"

I make soup when I'm stressed.  The mindless chopping calms my mind.  My freezer is full of it: chili, lentil, potato, squash/bean, chicken/turkey.  There isn't room for more varieties, though I contemplate making some split pea soup and clam chowder anyway.  It doesn't help that I make gallons of each variety.  At this point my dog loves soup more than I do.

Besides eating soup, I've been reading a lot because I don't think TV is improving my life and I might as well learn something.  I went to the library and really thought about my childhood experience of being surrounded by books.  How I had made sense of the place?  How did I choose my books?  I stood in the library entry, really looking at the place for once.

There are displays all over the place.  Sometimes I borrow a book from a display, but this time I noticed a sampling pointed me to books beginning with numbers 300-500.  Oh.  Seems kind of obvious now.  I dutifully went to those bookshelves where I skipped wars and found a couple of books on childhood trauma.

Did you know victims of child abuse suffer long-term physical effects from their experiences?  People who suffered multiple types of abuse including physical, sexual, neglect, verbal, etc. are likely to die years before their more blessed peers.  They can die 20 years earlier, often from heart attacks, cancer, addictions, and adult abuse.  The experts are saying we need to quit sweeping the topic under the rug as the long-term effects of childhood trauma are the leading cause of death.

I'm not just reading heavy topics like this.  I've been switching back and forth between escapist fiction and learning new stuff.  I don't know what else I'll be learning.  There are a lot of books in 300-500 and I almost went back for history books in another section as I was heading to the check out counter.  I already had 4 books and I've decided that 4 is enough for the library's 3 week borrowing window.  If I use them up, I'll just get more and start a new 3 week window.

I've gotten old enough to be ingrained in some of my ways.  Looking at the library with fresh eyes makes my world bigger and better, as does learning new things.  When I put myself in my younger self, I can feel the excitement the library meant to me.  Every aisle was an adventure, and every book an opportunity.  Reading about other people, real or imaginary, let me try on their lives to see if I wanted to be like them when I grew up.

Maybe I still want to look at the lives of others to see what I want to be?  We're only limited by our imaginations.  I could study Buddhism or Jane Goodall or who knows what.  May everyone spend some time wandering their library.  And eat soup.  It's good for you.  I meant to put soup in the bowl but after this art existed it just felt better to let the bowl either be waiting for a serving or empty because the soup has been eaten and enjoyed.  Your choice, half empty or half full? :)

14 comments:

  1. Can I come over to lunch Linda? I love soup and I also love your illustration of it.Enjoy reading...I tend to craft where you would read but holiday times I love reading. Reading is a wonderful escape too. Merry Christmas my friend xx

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  2. I'd love to have you over for lunch Jane! Anytime you're in the neighborhood :) Merry Christmas to you too!

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  3. Just in time for soup season! Great drawing, I love the detail in the spoon handle.
    Reading and soup are simple pleasures. With the internet and youtube, etc. I think people - especially young people - don't read books so much. Too bad.

    The outlook for victims of childhood trauma is sad but not surprising.

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    1. I agree that people, especially young ones, don't read enough. It's like your post about people buying essays for school. Maybe they'll figure out the pleasures of reading sometime when they're in the library checking out the movies?

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  4. I'm with you on soup. I love love love making it, and I like eating it pretty well. My family gets tired of eating it way before I'm tired of making it, unfortunately. For a few years, I sold it by the quart and half-gallon. I'm also with you on libraries. Libraries give me feelings of both safety and great expectations. I live in a wee town without a public library, so we have to pay for a library card from another town, which is surprisingly expensive, and not in our budget just now. Hopefully we can renew it in a few months.

    I love your painting--especially the lace. I adore drawn or painted lace.

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    1. I've never heard of having to pay for a library card, though I've heard the fines for late returns is pretty vicious around here. Selling soup sounds like a good way to get rid of some of my excesses :)

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  5. Linda, I signed up for a course at Oxford Department for Continuing Education and read a book that I would not have found had I not signed up. Exploring new worlds or subjects is the best way to keep our brain healthy. And to feed our inspiration. How are you proceeding with the books?

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    1. I managed to make a lot of notes on a lot of pieces of paper, spread them around in a disorganized mess, and wrote a partial chapter. In other words, the progress isn't great, but there's been some thinking and activity. I'll try to put my energy into a straighter line and actually producing something? Thanks for asking :)

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  6. I think exactly the same that TV is not improving my life. So I have more or less stopped watching it. And like you, I enjoy reading so much more. I have a big library of my own from collecting books since childhood and always find consolation there when I need it. But your post made me think going to a public library would be a good idea, simply to open up myself to other sides of the human experience, all that world outside my own little one that I don't pick for the books I choose for my own library.

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    1. That's pretty much how I've been feeling about things. I have books, but it feels good to get out and try other topics and authors. May we both find new favorites!

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  7. That's a great bowl and spoon. Good job! I make huge pots of soup too. I always have leftover soup in my freezer. I found mashed squash is a great ingredient to sweeten the broth. Happy reading and soup eating.

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    1. Thanks! I think I'd like your soup Sharon. I use squash in my bean soup. It makes it a bit lighter and easier to digest. Having a bowl of soup and reading is a great way to spend a winter day :)

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