Book Club Meeting: The Power Of Now

Who is reading Eckhard Tolle’s The Power Of Now along with us? This is one of those books that is so full of wisdom that you could underline almost every sentence and dog-ear every page. Just in the first chapter, I repeatedly found myself thinking “oh my gosh, that is exactly like me” or “wow, I never thought of it that way.” For today, I wanted to share some thoughts and quotes from the first chapter that really spoke to me. Read More

Free People Book Club: Jitterbug Perfume Part 2

Jitterbug Perfume: the two key ingredients for making the most intoxicating and powerful perfume in the world are jasmine and beets.  I love the way that Tom Robbins describes these two plants in the book as if they have personalities… he has such a magical way with words.

“A few other flowers may be as sweet, but jasmine is sweet without sentiment, sweet without effeteness, sweet without compromise; it is aggressively sweet…Expansive, yet never cloying, romantic, yet seldom melancholy, jasmine has the poise of a wild creature, some elusive self-sufficient thing that croons like an organic saxophone in the tropical night.”

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“The beet is the most intense of vegetables.  The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not of passion.  Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity.  Beets are deadly serious.”

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“The beet is the ancient ancestor of the autumn moon, bearded, buried, all but fossilized; the dark green sails of the grounded moon-boat stitched with veins of primordial plasma; the kite string that once connected the moon to the Earth now a muddy whisker drilling desperately for rubies.”

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“Although the contention that matter can transcend, at will, its material character would have had Descartes spinning in one or the other of his graves, a person who can believe in physical immorality is merely a step away from believing in dematerialization.”

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Let me know how far along in the book you guys are and what you think so far!

click on images for sources.

Free People Book Club: Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins

I looked into all of your suggestions for the book club and decided to pick Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins! I’ve mentioned my love for this author before on the blog, and have always considered doing one of his books, but I actually just happened to re-read jitterbug perfume and felt like the time was right.

Tom Robbins has a way with twisting and spinning words to create vivid scenes that awaken all of your senses. The way that he tells stories is magical, and even the most impossible scenarios seem very real, and very possible. In Skinny Legs and All he convinces you that a can of beans, a spoon and a sock have feelings and can move on their own. And in Jitterbug Perfume he imagines that you can live forever, if you set your mind to it.

The book is quite a ride – I hope you’ll come along with me.
Stay tuned for inspiring quotes and imagery in the coming weeks :)

p.s. for those of you who are new to the book club, click on the library category and you can go back and see posts from previous books like on the road and the perks of being a wallflower.

just kids, part three

i just got through the part of just kids in which patti smith recalls her encounters with janis joplin and jimi hendrix, shortly before both of their deaths. to have lived in that time, and experienced first hand how extraordinary they both were, i can only imagine the profound sense of loss she and others back then must have felt.  i wasn’t even alive yet but i am still incredibly saddened just thinking about it…i grew up listening to music from the sixties and seventies, and janis joplin was one of the first female artists i identified with. her and jimi’s performances at monterey pop are probably some of the best concert footage of all time, in my opinion.

i love the poem patti wrote about janis:

i was working real hard
to show the world what i could do
oh i guess i never dreamed
i’d have to
world spins some photographs
how i love to laugh when the crowd laughs
while love slips through
a theatre that is full
but oh baby
when the crowd goes home
and i turn in and i realize i’m alone
i can’t believe
i had to sacrifice you

her encounter with jimi hendrix took place at the opening of his electric lady studios in new york, when he found her sitting outside, nervous to go in.

“he spent a little time with me on the stairs and told me his vision of what he wanted to do with the studio.  he dreamed of amassing musicians from all over the world in woodstock and they would sit in a field in a circle and play and play. it didn’t matter what key or tempo or what melody, they would keep on playing through their discordance until they found a common language. eventually they would record this abstract universal language of music in his new studio. “the language of peace. you dig?” i did.”

this reminded me of one of my favorite quotes of all time, which comes from jimi hendrix:

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following their deaths patti describes a feeling of uncertainty about her artistic direction.

“i was both scattered and stymied, surrounded by unfinished songs and abandoned poems. i would go as far as i could and hit a wall, my own imagined limitations. and then i met a fellow who gave me his secret, and it was pretty simple. when you hit a wall, just kick it in.”

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as i was reading i felt like i identified most strongly with patti at this point…full of ideas and creativity but uncertain how to express it. a few years ago i reached a point in my life where i felt trapped and my way of kicking down the wall was driving across the country, finding myself in san francisco.

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much like patti’s time spent within new york’s rock and roll circle helped her realize her dreams, the creative energy of san francisco helped me realize mine.

new year, new book!

i am very excited to announce our next book club read – just kids by patti smith! a couple of you recommended this book but it was literally yesterday during a conversation with our videographer that we chose it.   here is what she had to say about it…

i’d heard friends talking about patti’s book and how powerful/inspiring/mesmerizing it was…
coincidentally i got tickets to see her play in new york for the new year.
i’m not much of a reader anymore, but…
i started the book on sunday – after seeing her perform which was downright amazing – and stayed up til 1am tuesday to finish it.
i don’t even feel like i can conjure up words to say what she’s already said – though when i read the last page, i texted my good friend,
feeling compelled to say “good lord, there’s good work to be done.”
i haven’t been so moved by a book in maybe…ever.
you’ll want to throw away all of your fears and reservations and excuses and go for it –
it being whatever the heck you want your life to be.

ok sign me up! i can’t wait to start reading it.  i’ll give you all a week or so to get started and then i’ll start posting about it. in the meantime, here are some images of the impossibly cool patti smith.

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the unbearable lightness of being – final post

“i used to admire believers”, tomas continued. “i thought they had an odd transcendental way of perceiving things which was closed to me. like clairvoyants, you might say.”

“it is completely selfless love: tereza did not want anything of karenin; she did not ever ask him to love her back. nor has she ever asked herself the questions that plague human couples: does he love me? does he love anybody more than me? does he love me more than i love him? perhaps all the questions we ask of love, to measure, test, probe, and save it, have the additional effect of cutting it short. perhaps the reason we are unable to love is that we yearn to be loved, that is, we demand something (love) from our partner instead of delivering ourselves to him demand-free and asking for nothing but his company.”

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“what about the country…we’d be alone there. the people there are different. and we’d be getting back to nature.  nature is the same as it always was.”

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“missions are stupid, tereza. i have no mission, no one has. and it’s a a terrific relief to realize you’re free, free of all missions.”

“we all need someone to look at us. we can be divided into four categories according to the kind of look we wish to live under:”

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“the first category longs for the look of an infinite number of anonymous eyes, in other words, for the look of the public. that is the case with the german singer, the american actress.”

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“the second category is made up of people who have a vital need to be looked at by many known eyes.  they are the tireless hosts of cocktail parties and dinners.”

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“then there is the third category, the category of people who need to be constantly before the eyes of the person they love.”

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and finally there is the fourth category, the rarest, the category of people who live in the imaginary eyes of those who are not present.  they are the dreamers.”

click on images for sources.

i really enjoyed reading this book – i think kundera has a beautiful way with words and some great insight into the human pursuit of happiness and that ever elusive “lightness.” those of you who read it, what did you think?

the unbearable lightness of being – part three

“the brain appears to possess a special area which we might call poetic memory and which records everything that charms or touches us, that makes our lives beautiful. from the time he met tereza, no woman had the right to leave the slightest impression on that part of his brain.”

“only the most naive of questions are truly serious. they are the questions with no answers. a question with no answer is a barrier that cannot be breached. in other words, it is questions with no answers that set the limits of human possibilities, describe the boundaries of human existence.”

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“the thing that gives our every move its meaning is always totally unknown to us. sabina was unaware of the goal that lay behind her longing to betray. the unbearable lightness of being – was that the goal?”

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“cemeteries in bohemia are like gardens. the graves are covered with grass and colorful flowers. modest tombstones are lost in the greenery. when the sun goes down, the cemetery sparkles with tiny candles. it looks as though the dead are dancing at a children’s ball. yes, a children’s ball, because the dead are as innocent as children. no matter how brutal life becomes, peace always reigns in the cemetery.”

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“from that time on she had known that beauty is a world betrayed. the only way we can encounter it is if its persecutors have overlooked it somewhere. beauty hides behind the scenes of the may day parade. if we want to find it, we must demolish the scenery.”

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“he suddenly recalled the famous myth from plato’s symposium: people were hermaphrodites until god split them in two, and now all the halves wander the world over seeking one another. love is the longing for the half of ourselves we have lost.”

click on images for sources.

the unbearable lightness of being – part one

some quotes i’ve uderlined in the book so far, with some imagery that they brought to mind.

“we can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come.”

“she loved to walk down the street with a book under her arm. it had the same significance for her as an elegant cane for the dandy a century ago. it differentiated her from others.”

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“she knew that she had become a burden to him: she took things too seriously, turning everything into a tragedy, and failed to grasp the lightness and amusing insignificance of physical love. how she wished she could learn lightness!”

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“she wanted to see the vltava. she wanted to stand on its banks and look long and hard into its waters, because the sight of the flow was soothing and healing. the river flowed from century to century, and human affairs play themselves out on its banks. play themselves out to be forgotten the next day, while the river flows on.”

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“chance and chance alone has a message for us. everything that occurs out of necessity, everything expected, repeated day in and day out, is mute. only chance can speak to us. we read its message much as gypsies read the images made by coffee grounds at the bottom of a cup.”


love that last quote so much. click on images for sources.

succulent wild woman – part three

a last bit of inspiration from succulent wild woman, by sark.

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i hope you guys enjoyed this book! i loved it and will definitely be recommending it to all of my female friends.  we will now begin the process of selecting the next book so if you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments below!

click on images for sources.