Season’s greetings from your Board President. Whatever and wherever you find yourselves celebrating this year, thank you for being a part of our CVUUF family.
Hopefully you are not among those stressed out with shopping and planning and things to do lists. Of course, you need to do all that stuff, we all do. But hopefully you can stay grounded with whatever coping strategies that work for you. Maybe that’s a brisk morning walk or a favorite Beatles song, maybe yoga or a glass of wine. Maybe it’s just some time on the sofa with a good book.
I read all kinds of stuff. My bookcases are full of current young adult bestsellers, as well as classics from being an English major at college. I have amazing 32-page picture books about kindness, and an 800-page extended version of Stephan King’s masterpiece “The Stand” (though it turns out that the original 600-page version was better). I am probably the only one you know that has read and enjoyed biographies of people like President Polk. I also have a copy of what is often considered the best unproduced screen play ever, “Harrow Alley.”
What I have the most of in my collection, though, is mysteries. Most of my favorite authors are American, and for a choice few of them I buy the book the week it comes out, but I have works from other countries as well. Even many that come from the U.S. are showcasing a sub-culture outside the mainstream. My collection has mysteries from the hard boiled 1940s to Haight/Ashbury, from punk to present to the future we have yet to live through.
What they all have to offer, for those willing to go on the adventure, is a sense of mystery and wonder. I don’t really care about plot. Raymond Chandler himself couldn’t track some of his own plots. I care about the mystery, the unknown, the just beyond your fingertips understanding. I love the feeling that I just NEED to turn the page and keep reading. Yet in many of my favorite mystery endings, hundreds of pages and many hours later, there is still plenty to wonder about.
I want you to know that I wonder about spiritual things as well, from the stars above to the beauty of a single sweet-smelling blade of grass. I marvel at the sounds of our voices in harmony. I have been scuba diving with playful sea lions, and I have sketched out how many ways I am connected to waves hitting the shore. One way is certain, for I threw my mother’s ashes off a favorite beach on Cape Cod. And I am there with her.
Our theme this month is mystery. Enjoy it.