Morning came early today. The alarm went off at 5:45 AM, and it was so dark and so cold. Driving to work in the dark is only really depressing when you also drive home in the dark. When I left my driveway this morning at 6:45 AM, dawn was still in its early stretches, and by the time I pulled back into it tonight it was well past dusk. This is the sign of both a long work day and the churlish nature of the sun in January in Chicago.
Today was a reading day. There were some highlights.
One young man discovered that not only are there sequels to Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz, but my room library has them all.
Another reader loved Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan (promising to bring me my copy back) and began reading Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker today. I think that he must have left with that one as well, as it is not on my desk.
“I can’t find a book.” (jeez, really? there are 1000 titles here) “I want something funny.” After determining that this reader liked fantasy, I think that she too left with my copy of Patricia Wrede’s Dealing With Dragons. Love Princess Cimorene!
“So, what should I do? I left my book at home.” (well, what are you reading?) “The Maximum Ride books.” (why don’t you read one of the classroom copies?) “You have copies?” (yep, another satisfied customer.)
A Jane Austen fan found hilarity in an ARC of The Incorrigible Children of Astor Place by Maryrose Wood, a book that features the delightful heroine, Miss Penelope Lumley, a fifteen year old recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females. Perfect.
So on this cold dark day with some warmth inside, I leave you with this lovely piece of poetry by a favorite poet of mine.
by Wyatt Prunty (from The Run of the House)
We saw the birds jockeying for the feeder.
Inside, the networks fed us New Year’s Day.
And then there was the snow, in thick raw blots
Down past a row of windows where it caught,
Turning the sills to ridges, as outside
The streets, houses, and yards thickened
From their named and numbered ways into
A watercolor unreadably white . . .
And all the while the manic snow descending,
Sometimes glazed against a pane but mostly
Falling from itself into itself
Under a low, bruised, and indefinite sky . . .
Until the things I watched to measure change,
A rencent stump, raised flower beds, porch steps —
Had disappeared, with the snow still falling
And the gray January light fading,
Fusing the trees and houses in one shade . . .
Suddenly a shadow now, beyond the glass
That mirrored us with looking out,
Ourselves out there, watches and rings reversed —
As reporters had the years reversed,
We said, looking out, seeing us looking in.
Photo of Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate by Ricky Flores