Hello all from Fairview’s excellent Acute Rehab Center where I am figuring out — with great help — how to stand and walk again. And I will do it, even if a ruptured appendix has tried its best to lay me low. Who knew people of an age had errant appendices?

I’m a bit behind on my reading, but I’ve been thinking about it.   Apparently distressed innards require my full attention for healing. And I lost my taste for coffee, but that is returning — within limits. I am fussier now after fourteen days of ice chips and sips of water for a troubled tum.


Sea breezes and vistas, maybe an interruption or two: read on.

Reading joy is coming back too, thank heavens. Gabriel Allon, Daniel Silva’s art restorer / Mossad agent, is a great companion right now. His conversations, reflections on art, and huge sense of places in and over time, especially the middle East and Europe, and (in The Fallen Angel) the Vatican, are just the right amount of thought provoking. And snotty Vatican novels are always a favorite. Another time I healed with Bernd Heinrich’s The Snoring Bird: My Family’s Journey Through a Century of Biology which was captivating both for the detail of what I learned about eastern Europe during WWI and WWII and the details about a field of study and higher education, both lifelong interests. Both books did their job of helping healing, but the latter required closer reading — or maybe the print was smaller. I know it was longer, and I was sorry to finish.

Both are great transition books on a healing-book spectrum that includes getting through tough times with the distraction of page-turners, recovering with the companionship of conversation,
And rejoining the land of the living with wholly engaging books of unexpected insights.


Water, rock islands, wildflowers and sun: a good read just gets better.

David Baldacci’s latest The Forgotten was my reliable page-turner, but this one read too much like a Jack Reacher wannabee exploit for me. And waiting for my return home and living well as I get ready to live gloriously in Maine is my latest favorite read that somehow enlarges what I know: poet Mary Ruefle’s Madness, Rack, and Honey, a collection of her annual lectures to Bennington students, filled with insights from and leading to poetry.  “Some people wonder and some people know. Scientists know; I wonder,” she says, and I don’t want to miss a word.

But her essays require my full attention, and right now the priority is strengthening muscles that help me stand and move my feet. Very spooky moment when third day after surgery, I found that I could do neither without the help of three others. Good news is that with time and work and inspired direction, what is lost returns.

I’ll see you all in Maine come Memorial Day and after Charlie repairs the chipmunk frolic with the pcv water pipe, better than ever at the end of this, but twelve days of ice chips and a few sips of water with no weight loss? Please.

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3 Responses to HEALING READS

  1. Madeline says:

    Sending healing thoughts your way, Colleen. The North Carolina contingent will see you 2nd full week of August. Will bring goodies!
    To Maine!

  2. Mary Ellen says:

    Hello Colleen,
    I’m sorry to hear about your problems, but glad you’re determined to get back in shape and out to Maine. I hope to see you there this summer and talk about books and all. We won’t be staying at the EWI ever again, but there are places to rent around there and it might just be what we need come hot July. A niece of mine is moving to Boothbay Harbor late this month to take a job, so there is another reason to continue our visits to Maine.

    Thank you for introducing me to Bernd Heinrich’s The Snoring Bird, which is to me a gripping story. I wonder what Bernd’s life would have been like had he not spent his young years in the woods in that cabin before coming to the states. Oh, it’s filled with wonderful stories, I think I’ll read it again.

    Take care of yourself. I just looked up and noticed snow falling. Happy May Day!

  3. Mary Hagen says:

    With Memorial Week arriving I remembered that you should be back in your wonderful cottage. I looked for your latest blog and am glad to know you are recovering and on you way to take in the healing sea breezes and share your wonderful enthusiasm for good reads! At this point I have no plans for Maine this summer. However I do have The Snoring Bird which is going to my cabin tomorrow for my next read. It was great seeing you last summer in July, enjoyed the books I bought but especially having a few hours with you. (Remember Liz ran miles while I enjoyed being with you.) So best of luck from Minnesota! Here’s to a fine summer!

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