paint a picture

painted veilThis year I decided my New Year’s resolution should be simple. I live among stacks and stacks of books, most of which I have yet to read. So my resolution is for each new book I read I have to read one of the books that have been languishing on my shelves. While I was staying at a friend’s house over the holidays I picked up his orange penguin copy of The Painted Veil. I had seen the movie with Edward Norton and Naomi Watts. The story was familiar enough that I could read and concentrate with my retail-addled brain. And the beauty of the story transported me to a cholera epidemic in China that felt not only romantic but profoundly uplifting. It is a depressing story of lost love but counteracted with the joy of self discovery. What happens when you are left alone with only your surroundings to mirror all your inner workings? Here is my favorite quote from one of the nuns at the orphanage,
It is not enough that a religious should be continually in prayer with Jesus; she should be herself a prayer.”

For my new book, I’ve started reading, Eight Girls Taking Pictures, by Whitney Otto. Aeight girls fantastic novel about women photographers throughout the twenty first century, some fictional some historical.  The additional joy of this book is in looking up new photographers and looking at images and discovering new finds as I read. Here is a little excerpt from the first “girl,” Cymbeline,

As a photographer, Cymbeline was drawn to the pictorial photograph. She loved the softness of Käsebier the manifesto of Stieglitz, the dreamy, blurred beauty of Baron de Meyer – these pictures that could be paintings. She believed, as others did, that a camera was good for more than recording the world. A photograph wasn’t a reponse to something; it was something. (After Berlin, after marriage, she would say that she “shifted her own artistic expressions along less sentimental lines.”)

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