Friday, May 29, 2015

Reading and Listening

Sometimes I feel the gap left by my identical twin's move to Canberra more keenly than other times. I miss her dearly, for she is not only my sister, but my best friend. She is also my creative partner in crime, and together we visit galleries, museums, poetry readings, markets, fairs and book shops. Neither of us has been able to find a suitable replacement since her interstate shift. Despite talking daily, face timing and letter writing, there is still a Fiona sized gap. As a result, I often feel a need to inject a little extra creative conversation and company in to my days, particularly as I work from home in the company of my little ones.

One way I have been filling the void is with books, magazines and podcasts. I picked up the Frankie and womankind magazines while in Yamba, and have become quite enamored by womankind - an ad free women's magazine with a focus on arts and culture. While the lovely Pippa recommended the podcast The New Normal - in which Emma and Tess chat with creative mothers about their life, work and family - and the website Creative Women's Circle; from which I brought 'Conversations with Creative Women' Volume one and two. I find reading about successful women who have followed their creative dreams so very interesting and inspiring, particularly when they are Australian and it seems they were once not so removed from my current situation.

I have been listening to audio book again lately, having newly discovered the joys of Borrow Box, which allows me to borrow audio books from my local library and download them on my phone, without even leaving home. I listen to a lot of podcasts and books while I work at the bench or knit. Even while I do the dishes or sweep the floor! Recently I fell in love with How to Paint a Dead Man. A wonderfully woven tale with four protagonists in different eras who are dealing with similar themes of love, loss and art in their lives, which are entwined. (Not one to listen to around children, due to the inclusion of sex scenes.) But a thoughtful, moving and beautifully written novel nonetheless. I have also been listening to a book I have long loved, The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain deBotton. Listening to a book one has previously read brings with it a new level of appreciation. Read or spoken, this is the kind of book you can revisit many times, for it covers the work of several great minds from history and applies their philosophies to our modern lives and every day dilemmas; such as a lack of money, anxiety and the pain of love.

There is another pile of books next to my bed currently, which I hope to find time for soon.
But tell me, what have you been reading and listening to?
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