Kindling the Flame

When we arrive home from the bus stop…

It is here!

Jeffrey is in front of me–catching airy snowflakes on tongue. Lucy Mae and I tag along behind, basking in feather kisses as each flake finds skin-home. I turn cheeks up and grow dizzy as the sky spirals down like soft manna.
And in the midst of this bliss I spy the brown cardboard box propped up against the garage door.
Could it be?
I squeal with delight and skate past a surprised snowflake catcher. In my joy-frenzy, I forget how old I am. I forget about the slick surface of sky-road. One day I will break a hip and some young psychologist on the rehab unit will want me to talk about how I feel.
No matter. Today I arrive safely.
Pick up the brown box. Cradle it in arms.
My Kindle is here!

I love the pull tab to open the box: Once upon a time…

Did I mention that I won a Kindle? I’m still glowing from the joy of it all. But–just in case you missed it–you can read about it here (thank you thank you thank you, Mary), and read my winning essay here (over one hundred entries!).

In the mean time, I am having so much fun! I rarely get new toys. Kathleen said, “Tell me if you miss turning pages and smelling ink and holding paper, glorious paper.”
This from a woman who, on her blogger profile under the heading favorite books simply lists: All. With a period.
Not yet, Kathleen! But just let it be known that I consider my Kindle a nice addition to my weighty, page-turny books. You’re talking to a girl who once smelled a book in front of an entire first grade class during read aloud. The look my son gave me made me realize I had lost myself and become Mary Katherine Gallagher–of SNL fame–smelling her underarms.
The Kindle will be very convenient when traveling. I can do away with the laundry basked of books when we go to the beach this year. 🙂

Besides keeping read aloud interesting, here is another reason not to abandon my olfactory (and tactile) fixation:


Isn’t it lovely?

This, another expected surprise that came to me in the mail this week. My friend Sarah mailed her book of poems, Otherwise, to me all the way from New Zealand. I tremble with awe when I think of the journey this gem traveled to get to me.
And may I share one of its pearls? Please? Sarah?
feed me sweet wickedness
just a little
under my tongue
unravel my thoughts
ever so slowly
one by one
and then lay me down tangled
in the roots of the moon
so I may offer my body
as a slate for your poems.
Isn’t it delicious?
And, good news! Sarah has a new book of poetry available, only just. Imagine the miles it could fly to rest in your hands.
Happy reading, my friends–whichever mode you choose.


  1. says

    I’m overlooking the Kindle for now though it’s the subject of your post. I’m one part jealous, one part heels-dug-in demanding the feel of paper, the smell of the binding and the sound of turning pages.

    What I really loved here? Not the point at all. But I did.

    Your trips walking home from the bus stop.

    They take hold of me. Every. Single. Time.

  2. says

    Sarah’s poem gave me the shiver quivers. Anything that keeps us juicy for life, even a Kindle sweet girl, is good. Did you know that if I didn’t already like you, I would do so, simply because you pick out really GOOD journals? 🙂 Congrats! Play. Play. Play. I’m with Lyla: your delight was tangible and childlike. Lose anything but that.

  3. says

    Ok, now I’m confused. I thought a kindle was an online book? It’s actually something you hold in your hands? I’ll have to check into that, as I do like to read on airplanes…

  4. says

    WOW…happy reading. Let me know how you enjoy it. I am stuck in the old school way…holding a book in hand, but it would be a lighter load to carry a kindle.
    Hugs, andrea

  5. says

    I’m so glad it was you. I’m so glad you made it safely across the slick surface to enjoy it. I’m so glad you painted the word picture of the “soft manna” snow. Thanks for sharing the joy.

  6. says

    Laura, love the new look of your blog! Fabulous.

    Our priest has a Kindle, which has already been on sabbatical with her. She loves it.

    I wrote a blogpost about the unlikelihood of ever owning a Kindle, though agree it would make packing lighter and travel a bit easier. Still, after being online all day, the tactile feel of a book in hands is too good.

    Isn’t Sarah’s collection super? I ordered her new chapbook the first day it became available. I get a kick from its travels over land and sea to reach me.

  7. says

    Congratulations, Laura!

    I’ve always wondered if I would miss the olfactory nirvana of books in hand.

    Your post is getting me in trouble, cuz now, the scale is tipping the other way and I want one! 🙂

    I chuckled at the pic with the book as entre. L-O-V-E I-T!

  8. says

    I am so excited for you Laura! You absolutely deserve that prize. My young cousin (who sells all the latest techy stuff) was just telling me about the joys of the Kindle this past week. It is going to give you so many hours of great reading.
    What a joyful surprise!

  9. says

    What a delight, Laura! I LOVE that little-girl-at-Christmas feeling I get when a much anticipated package arrives. I look forward to hearing your experience with the Kindle. I’m planning my summer beach trip now; I was just thinking about the annual more-books-than-clothes packing. Enjoy!

  10. says

    (This is Maggie, btw. I like my, screen name, though, so I’m keeping it. 😉 )
    How can you read without the smell of book drifting on the breeze? That’s half of the reading experience! I am shocked at this book heresy! 😉

  11. says

    I just ordered a book of her poems. Waiting for the deliciousness to come! 🙂

    Congrats on the Kindle. You make it sound heavenly. And I know it will be, in its way.

  12. says

    don’t worry, friends! I’m not giving up my books yet! But the kindle has been a blessing–very convenient. I found that even Brody’s Story is available in Kindle format! I’ll keep you posted on my Kindle reading. It’s fun so far.

  13. says

    So lovely… COngrats on winning the Kindle (though I -sheepish cough- don’t know what that is). I love way your words skip across the page, their silohettes dancing way down deep, their rhythmic pattern tickling my eyelids.

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