FOUR THINGS TO ASK A STRANGER (almost a parody)

Welcome to Mary Anne Radmacher's blog.

One way to get to know a person you've just met is to ask them to tell you about their favorite friends. It's said that a person essentially becomes an aggregate of the five people with whom they spend the most time.

There's another telling question to ask a stranger. It's all about a book.

1) Is there one book that you have re-read and will read again (and again)?
2) What is the most recent book that you've read and what stands out to you most?
3) What is the title of a book you recommend most often to friends?
4) What was the last book you read that made you so sad when it came to the end? (Because you wanted to keep on reading, not because the ending was sad!).

If the person you are just getting to know has never re-read a book, can't remember what stood out from the last book they read, doesn't recommend books to friends and has never felt sad to stop reading an excellent book...

I suggest that you stop conversing with them. And, perhaps, run. Kidding (not kidding). Perhaps you might consider striking up a conversation with someone else that you might want to get to know. AND start THAT conversation off by recommending a book you've recently read...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

a surprising saturday: friends and rest

I am writing on my deck, clothed in a sun dress. Puget Sound is at a minus tide revealing so plainly why the expanse in front of me is called “Useless Bay.” People stroll to the tide’s edge at low tide and there’s no hope for a boat moored close to shore in this bay. Hence…the useless part. The whirring throaty buzz of hummingbirds comes from the feeder to my left. The song birds are rehearsing their liturgy. The sound of fast moving sandpaper blocks striking each other come from the eagles in the trees over there. They are so close I can appreciate the majesty of their white hood from here, even without my helpful eyeglasses.

Slipping some gin in simply lemonade sounds seriously appealing as I sit soaking in this rare demonstration of Pacific Northwest Spring sun. My better judgment reminds me I have more manuscript to letter. Oh, yeh. This is just a pause in the day. A contribution to my healing lung.

An engine buzzes as a water plane zooms out of Hood Canal. And I just explained to the deer that ambled across the yard that Suze really prefers she stay away from all her plants. She seems disinterested and completely undisturbed by my message. The crow crowd (we don't call them a murder here) wonder if my presence means food will soon be thrown to them. They cannot imagine any other reason I would be outside. Simply sitting on the deck. We do exist only to feed them, don't we?

I remember saying to my dear friend Barb earlier today that rest and friends are two of the most important things in our lives…and yet in our busy-ness we often place them last in our day. If we place them at all. I pick up my phone and call several of my cherished souls whose voices I haven’t heard in a bit. Laughter and stories punctuate the bird songs.
While we discuss all the places in the world to which we could move next May – in this moment this seems the most pristine, ideal place on the planet. How grateful I am for the life I live.

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