It took me longer than I anticipated to read this little volume, but I got up this morning and stayed in bed to do just that. It was luxurious, and I loved it even more when the kids got library books and came and quietly "read" with me. Well, mostly quietly anyway. It was still precious time.
And it has been a precious, thoughtful, weighty time reading Godric. The language is beautiful, the story compelling, and I love the Truth of it shining through the historical stretches Buechner provides.
Here are some things I gathered from this reading:
Laugh till you weep. Weep till there's nothing left but to laugh at your weeping. In the end it's all one. (11)
On his brother, William: Words were the line that moored him to the world, I think, and he thought if ever the line should break, he'd be forever cast adrift. (13)
On his sister, Burcwen: It gave her peace to gather back the bits and pieces of herself the day had scattered. (13)
So Christmas comes and Christmas goes, and the world the holy child is born to rests, as ever, full of dark so deep that all the Norman bishops in the land with all their candles aren't enough to drive it back an inch. (127)
What's prayer? It's shooting shafts into the dark. What mark they strike, if any, who's to say? It's reaching for a hand you cannot touch. The silence is so fathomless that prayers like plummets vanish in the sea. You beg. You whimper. You load God down with empty praise. You tell him sins that he already knows full well. You seek to change his changeless will. Yet Godric prays the way he breathes, for else his heart would wither in his breast. Prayer is the wind that fills his sail. Else waves would dash him on the rocks, or he would drift with witless tides. And sometimes, by God's grace, a prayer is heard. (142)
The other night, I read one of the funniest chapter books for kids I've encountered in awhile: Stuart's Cape by Sara Pennypacker. I also read her Clementine - both to see if they were appropriate for my little ones. Stuart's Cape is a definite go. Really. One of the funniest books ever. When (on page 3, mind you) the lemons fall out of his Aunt's braids and she rejoices because she couldn't remember where she packed them, she had me hooked. And this came after the hilarious play on words about man-eating spiders. Though there is plenty of wit that the kids will miss, there is equally plenty of greatness that the kids will eat up (like playing hide and seek with the gorilla, dinosaur, and horse or the toast plant that grows giant toast). I can't wait to start it with them. Clementine has me still a bit uncertain. I like the character, and I think she will resonate with Chloe's energy. I love the writing and the illustrations, but I think I'm going to save it for a bit later. I don't want Chloe to think cutting off your hair (or your best friend's) is anywhere near a good idea. But we'll see. It is pretty adorable the way she protects her brother from the pointy shoes in the book. And we've handled other books where kids make bad decisions. So maybe it will get read soner than later. Good stuff all around.