Reading & Writing a Life

Carla Pineda's blog

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“Winter is when I reorganize my bookshelves and read all the books I acquired in the previous year and failed to actually read.” (p.210)

Ahh! So true! Just recently, earlier this “fall” season I cleared four bags of books off my shelves. Three of them have been taken for resale, one more remains to be taken. My bookcase in the kitchen (yes, the kitchen) now has no overflow and the ones in the guest room are almost there. There is some sense of organization. I can, most often, find what I’m looking for when I need/want it.

I am reading Katherine May’s book, Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times that I purchased just a week ago. I am nearly through it. It is a wonderfully warm and engaging read.

I have yet to put a mark in it which is rare for me. I will go back and find those lines I want to savor like a dense winter stew and mark them lightly with pencil. I am not looking for enlightening lines that take me into my head for insight and excitement. I will be looking for those single lines that drop me deep into my being, ones that wrap me in a warmth of words, leave me quiet, in deep, dark places.

I will likely finish this book today or tomorrow, dig for those gems, and write about them on the blank pages of my journal.

I highly recommend this beautiful book!

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The Long Tail of Trauma: A Memoir by Elizabeth Wilcox

A fascinating and beautiful read! We hear and read a lot about PTSD and what that looks like in individuals, victims of abuse, trauma, war. We’re learning more and more about how trauma impacts the individual and what the paths for healing can be. Yet, this is the first book I have read that untangles how trauma impacts across the generations. This book is a deeply shared and touching examination of the story of the author’s mother and the far reaching tentacles of her mother’s adverse childhood experiences (known as ACE). The separation of her mother from her own mother during the time of WW 2 in Europe all set the stage for the author’s exploration into what happens when trauma is inherited and how the maternal past and present is affected. The forward of the book states, “It represents a living autopsy of sorts, a dissection of the seen and unseen, of what lies beneath.” It is a touching “imagined history of maternal memoir” as well as an educational primer written by someone who has a grasp of the psychological wounds of early childhood trauma, its scars, and of healing.