Sunday, June 26, 2005
SO WHAT EXACTLY IS A MEME?
Image from PostSecret
Yeah, I've seen them around, but am not quite sure where they originated--or what the word means. (Sorry for flaunting my ignorance and I promise to go directly to Dictionary.com as soon as I put up this post.) Anyway, I was so excited when Sinead Gleeson at Sigla passed me the meme baton. If you haven't read this on-line magazine from Ireland, please stop what you're doing and hit it right now. It's fun, it's provocative, and they even published one of my poems! Yay, Sigla!
You’re stuck inside Fahrenheit 451. Which book do you want to be?
I recently had a little contest on my Waitress blog. The idea was to name a book that changed your life, and everybody who entered won. (I was never much into competition.) At any rate, one of the winners selected Little Women, and her reasons reminded me of how wonderful it had been to inhabit that book, that imaginary household. So if I had to memorize a book and live inside it, I'd have to become the fifth sister in the March family. Who knows? Maybe the ever wise Marmee could even straighten my ass out and convince me to make something of myself.
Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
I named my first child after Gabriel Oak in Far From the Madding Crowd, so what does that tell you? But seriously, Sinead took all the best one. I was so in love with Heathcliffe that I spent years looking for him. Unfortunately, all the Heathcliffes I found weren't just romantically tortured, they were seriously whacked out. That's when I started to go for the upstanding citizen types like Mr. Darcy. But once again, I came away disappointed. My Mr. Darcys were never quite as nice as Jane Austens.
Though I live for books and frequently find life inside a book cover more rewarding than the trials of the so-called real world, when it comes to men, my husband is way better than any of my literary crushes.
The last book you bought is?
Edges by Leora Skokin-Smith, a little gem of a book. Highly recommended. And in the same order I also got, Meditations from a Movable Chair by Andre Dubus. I haven't read it yet, but anything by Dubus has got to be good.
What are you currently reading?
Baker Towers by Jennifer Haigh. Great storytelling and a lot of insight into the way that small town life enriches and crushes all at once.
Five books you would take to a deserted island
I love this question!
1. If I was stuck on a desert island, I'd need some spiritual perspective, so I'd probably pack Meister Eckhart, from Whom God Hid Nothing.
2. Since I can't fall asleep without reading a novel, I'd take The Brothers Karamazov. It's so long and deep that no matter how many years I was stuck on that island, I'd always have my bedside reading.
3. Mary Oliver's New and Selected Poems.
4. Czeslaw Milosz's Crossing the River. I've read these poems over so many times, I might as well have been on a desert island with them.
The Kabir Book: 44 of the Ecstatic Poems of Kabir, translated by Robert Bly. My copy is so old and battered that the price on the cover is $3.95. You can barely get a cup of coffee for that price now, and I've been feasting on Kabir's ecstasy since I was fifteen. Talk about a bargain. In fact, I love these poems so much, I have to share one right now:
Inside the clay jug there are canyons and pine
mountains, and the maker of canyons and pine
All seven oceans are inside, and hundreds of millions
The acid that tests gold is there, and the one who
And the music from the strings no one touches, and
the source of all water.
If you want the truth, I will tell you the truth:
Friend listen: The god I love is inside.
Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?
I'm going to pass the meme to writers Laura Wellner and Tsipi Keller, two very different writers who both have a lot of interesting and original things to say.
And to my friend, Rona, because over the years, we've pssed everything from boyfriends to clothes to gossip to poetry back and forth. Why not a meme?