Mountain Rose Herbs are the ones who, through their email newsletter, apprised me of Rosemary Gladstar's lovely new video series where she talks about herbs and herbal remedies from her garden retreat in Vermont. I should probably note I am not in any way affiliated with anyone mentioned, I just love their ethos and their practice. In her recent videos Rosemary Gladstar talks about herbalism as an art and a practice, and in this latest one where she walks you through her Vermont summer garden brimming with yarrow and goldenrod and burdock and evening primrose, she talks of solar energy and how plants harness the immense energy of the sun so when we consume them we are consuming "pre-digested sunlight" -- isn't that the truth.
One of the books on my bedtime shelf lately is Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs, which is an introduction or beginner's guide to herbs you can grow in your garden and use for all sorts of things, including colds and flus and infections and cleansing and vivifying. She also takes you step by step through the processes of creating tinctures and salves and infusions and teas. Being the unfortunate kind of reader who craves pictures this book is perfect for me, with its glossy photos of plants and plant remedies and golden honeys in bottles. I am dipping in to read, one plant at a time.
Among the herbs she mentions, in our own tentative, newly-dug New England garden this blazing, cooling October is: calendula, oregano, rosemary, wild plantain, straggly purslane, lavender.
Regarding books: I had thought I might have finished something this week--I am reading Duo Duo's Snow Plain, a collection of short stories by a modern Chinese poet, and dipping into Isaac Babel's Collected Stories--the combination of reading these two together makes for a surfeit of surrealism, at least, the stories I have read so far, of a frozen woman in a cabin of snow, and a man-angel with wings made of infant's sighs, no less--and re-reading the separate beauties of Winter Stars by Larry Levis and Adrienne Rich's An Atlas of the Difficult World, and Linda Gregg's Chosen by the Lion--this poetry that I love takes me back to those long-past MFA days, for better and for worse...you know you have grown older when you find yourself writing fiction out of studying poetry, once, a lifetime ago, or perhaps more--
Supporting Free Speech
From New Letters, via Three Percent, how Lawrence Ferlinghetti is setting an example for the rest of us on the importance of free speech in a world where totalitarianism creeps unchecked through whole countries: Lawrence Ferlinghetti declines 50,000 Euro Prize from Hungarian Pen Club
And, in other news, Stephen Colbert's own take on same--reviewing one's own book, now why didn't I think of this earlier! Thanks to Grub Daily for that one.
I didn't realize I was becoming a news-pointer, but apparently, in absence of my own reviews that is what is happening around here--so until next week, sayonara, and I'll plan to Actually review, next week!