Last week, I went to a seminar, a day long thing on human resources issues for non-profit organizations. Because, in addition to being one of the accidental techies in my office, I am also the accidental HR person. And, while most of the time, I'm good with making it up as I go along, sometimes I think I ought to have a bit of practical knowledge.
It was useful enough.
But my absolute favorite moment during the day was an unexpectedly poetic PowerPoint slide title:
Is that not beautiful? All around, the leaves are changing falling crunching swirling, falling swirling crunching changing, and now it is darker earlier earlier, and soon it will be winter. Of course, they were talking about a different sort of leave altogether.
I've been reading a lot. Right now, I'm in the middle of three books, one fiction, two not. As happens, as it always happens, there are odd parallels and coincidences among them.
Though I'd read Tracy Kidder's profile of Paul Farmer in the New Yorker, oh, 13 years ago, I'd never gotten around to Mountains Beyond Mountains. Wow. It's kind of fabulous and now I feel a little bad that Partners in Health went on my bad charities list because they sent me way too much mail. Paul Farmer's administrative partner in Partners in Health is Ophelia Dahl (as in, daughter of Roald, but that's just an interesting aside). And because I am easily amused, I find it funny to be contemporaneously reading Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls. There's no real connection between the books, other than the Ophelia, but how often do you run across an Ophelia in your day to day life? The fiction rounding out my current reading is The Poisonwood Bible, and it ties closely back to Mountains Beyond Mountains - it's in the Congo, everyone is poor, lots of people are sick. But it also resonates with Reviving Ophelia, what with those four daughters, growing up.
Books. It comes around. My sister-in-law is helping raise money to buy books for a children's library in Africa, Zambia, to be precise. Clearly, my current reading and her current project have a connection - books, children, Africa. "It is a proven fact that higher levels of literacy are associated with the availability of classroom libraries with a sufficient quantity of books, providing children with the opportunity to read." Won't you help? Melissa set up an Indiegogo campaign, which you can get to by clicking the photo, right there, to the right.
And when you're done, you can have a book for your troubles. My friend Emily wrote an irreverent guide to Disney World called Princess Wishes and Monorail Dreams. She's giving the book away - but asking that people donate to charity in return. So I've got it a little backwards here, by asking you to donate to charity and then go "claim" your copy of her book, but I think we're on the same page in spirit.
Books. Each page is a leaf. Turning leaves, turning pages, and so the circle continues, unbroken.