Greetings and welcome to the Full Hunter’s Moon Edition of You Are What You Read. This is the moon for all you hunter/gatherers to get out there and Hunt and Gather. Winter’s on the way People and the cupboard is bare! Get on it. This week’s housekeeping is as follows: There were no offerings this week, and just as it was last week our pants thank you. There were no Animals Run Amok this week but we did have a blimp that made the break for freedom over Pennsylvania on Wednesday. You can read about that here. Saturday is not only Halloween but it is also time to “fall back”. Turn those clocks back an hour and check the batteries in the smoke detector. This means that a lot of us will be walking to the station in the dark from here on out so please be on the lookout for us and please not to hit us with your cars. Thank you.
This life is hard. I really believe that as humans we are constantly seeking out the little bright spots that enable us to keep putting one foot in front of the other every day. The world can feel charm-free and harsh. The road to and from work and home is filled with vehicle choked roads with people performing a myriad of tasks behind the wheel other than driving (yes, I have actually seen flossing), or, if you choose, a transit system that is broken, old, perpetually late and populated with riders who were seemingly raised by wolves (yes, I have seen nail trimming). We adapt and do little things to make it tolerable. A travel mug full of lovely hot beverage, something good to read, a charged I-pod, train friends that you end up caring a great deal about, and a spot on the landscape that you use as a touchstone. This makes it seem easier and it helps keep you somewhat sane.
Writing too is lonely and hard. When it goes well there is a real happiness in crafting a good sentence and knowing that you have strung together exactly the right word choices to get your point across. Some weeks the topics leap out at me, and yet there have been weeks when I go into Friday freaked out and panicked that I had no idea what I was going to say to you all. What should our conversation be? What sort of tone should we be setting for our slide into the weekend?
I have never made any secret of my admiration of what I called The SoNo Loft but is, in real life, Gregory Cox and crew at Think Around Corners. Every week they carefully craft and hang the banner on the railing of the deck of their office in South Norwalk bringing whimsy, joy and charm to my commute and my world. The messages were always timely, kind and spot on. It is also no secret that it was often the jumping off point for what this weekly scribble is all about. The message this week is one that I bring to you with deep regret and sadness: Goodbye Train. Greg and his team are decamping to Scarsdale and this is our last message from them. I am going to miss them mightily and I know that you all join me in wishing them nothing but the best.
To honor what they have brought to us, let’s all try to do something to bring some of that same caprice into the world. Let’s try to make each other’s path one littered with a soupcon of cheer and a dash of good-will. Thanks SoNo Loft! We are going to miss you huge.
This week we have a very happy Barbara M and a Very Important Work.
Playlist? This one goes out to Greg and Company. Happy Trails!
Let us begin!
Barbara M is here and I can’t remember the last time I saw her excited! “I’m so happy! I’m now reading Gregory David Roberts’ The Mountain Shadow, the sequel to Shantaram, and was immediately thrown into the rough tumble world of Bombay’s underworld. The story of Lin who is living in India after having escaped from a maximum security prison in Australia, is loosely based on the author’s life. This book takes place two years after Shantaram ends and Lin is now a counterfeiter and working for the Sanjay mob. The characters are well drawn and the dialog is genuine. Roberts describes Bombay so well I feel like I know it. As in Shantaram the story reads like a movie in your mind. It is a long book, almost 900 pages, and although I’m only a quarter of the way through it I already don’t want it to end. Gregory David Roberts decided to give only one interview about The Mountain Shadow before withdrawing from public life to write and you can read it and listen to it here.”
One of my favorite reads of the year comes out next week. The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild begins when Annie McDee takes home a painting that she found in a secondhand shop in London, she has no idea that she has stumbled upon an Important Work that will upend the London Art scene. What is the provenance of this painting and why is one of the most important art dealers in the city determined to get his hands on this painting no matter what? I loved this tale of art, love, war and the power of beauty. This is Rothschild’s first work of fiction. She usually makes her coin by writing non-fiction about the art world. I certainly hope that it’s not her last.
DJ Jazzy Patty McC is here from Meat Chicken with the final musings for the week. What's good Pats? "This week we say farewell and wish The Loft all the best. I do not have the train connection that Jen has in viewing their weekly banner hung over the balcony with thoughtful care. There were plenty of times over the past couple of years that their message spoke to me only because Jen was kind enough to share their words. Sometimes, their message was EXACTLY what I needed to jumpstart my own writing and playlist theme for this weekly missive. Writing is hard work. When writing weekly on a deadline some weeks are better than others. It helps to be a good storyteller. Music is another form of storytelling and I try to honor that here weekly. This week I honor The Loft aka Think Around Corners for the inspiration and creative springboard they’ve given me. We will miss you and we are grateful."
DL THE LOFT ABIDES 2015
DL Expressions of Gratitude 2013