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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Reader's Diary #234- Bronwen Wallace: Common Magic (FINISHED)

Oddly, this book made me think of my son's Magnadoodle. The way Wallace describes relationships, how we connect to people -almost magically- is a Magnadoodle picture. They come to us like iron filings on a magnetic pen and leave a picture that seems permanent. But then along comes life and swipes the board clean. The picture could be redrawn, but you know it isn't going to be the same- for better or for worse.

Three such relationships drawn by Wallace are with her sister, her husband, and her son. In the first, the picture of two sisters, the swipe comes from the revelation that Wallace's sister was in an abusive relationship and had been keeping it from her. As the picture is redrawn, one suspects the bond between the two will be stronger despite the painful memories that linger.

With the husband, the swipe comes from stress and the realization that they have grown apart. Unlike a lot of divorced couples, Wallace picked up the Magnadoodle pen and drew another picture: that of an acquaintance with whom she once shared a life.

The last, and probably one of those I found most difficult, was about her son. The swipe in this case comes from the realization that her son is (and has been) slowly growing into himself, and thus becoming independent of her. In keeping with the analogy, it's as if Wallace suddenly found herself on the other side of the Magnadoodle watching her son's hands reach for the swipe. This last one seems a little too "half-empty" gazing for my taste, but then it's told from a mother's perspective and as Wallace reminds me, mothers start saying goodbye the moment they say hello.

4 comments:

Crazy Christina said...

What an incredible comparison! You're so creative! You are not only interesting in what you are reading, you are interesting in how you read it!

I always enjoy reading your posts...but often don't have any grounds on which to post a comment!

...I used to call myself a reader, but it's no longer applicable to my lifestyle right now! I don't know how you find time to do it with two small kids. I just hope that I can instill the love of books into my children, even though the only time they see me with one is when I'm reading to them, or on my way out the door to work (I read on the bus). My brain can no longer do the kind of critical reading that you are able to do. I hope I get that back again!

I want to be a geek like John!!!

Christina

John Mutford said...

Christina, You're giving me too much credit. The good people at MagnaDoodle contacted me and offered me a hundred bucks to work their product into a posting. It's not creativity, it's selling out (for cheap).

On an (almost) unrelated note, I don't often blog about music, but has anyone heard the new Great Lake Swimmers tune, "Your Rocky Spine"? Great pop poetry.

John Mutford said...

Christina,
I almost forgot to tell you how I find time to read. The secret is sacrificing sleep and consuming unhealthy amounts of coffee and tea.
John

Crazy Christina said...

I only get 5-6 hours a night now...and I've (nearly) cut out coffee...

I guess I will continue to be ignorant...

...I wonder if the Word Publishing people would give me $100 if I told them through my blog that I'm reading all the way through their Bible for Lent?