A Girl Named Leney

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The Rewilded Bookclub
www.agirlnamedleney.com

I shared on Instagram last week that I was reading Women Who Run With The Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. A book that I’d had in the trunk of my car for three months and was eagerly waiting for the right moment to start.
It generated so much interest and wonderful conversation that I decided to start a virtual bookclub!

The #RewildedBookclub can now be found on Facebook in a private group (join below!) or followed through that hashtag on instagram.

It is one of my inherent qualities that as long as I make time to at least both read and write in a day, I feel pretty good about the day as a whole. Although despite this belief, they are almost always the things I place on the back burner when I feel stressed or overwhelmed.
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However, these two habits are both such important parts of who I am and part of how I process and engage with the world in a way that feels meaningful to me.
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Balancing screen time with these things is hard. Which is of course the irony of sharing this... because it’s taking me away from this very book that’s presently in my lap...
But I am so excited to have a group of women to encourage and remind me to make it a priority in my day-to-day.

If you’d like to join, follow the link below! I foresee this being a whole thing and I have a whole stack of other books in the trunk of my car to share in the coming months…. ;)

 
The Rewilded Book Club
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This is a bookclub for women to come together and have conversations centered around themes of living a more engaged and mindful life. Challenging the...
 
For One Who Is Exhausted, a Blessing

the following words are by John O' Donohue from this article which quotes a piece from his book: To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings.
i came across them at the beginning of the year while listening to Krista Tippett's podcast On Being and they've stuck with me ever since. 

there is both a soothing and invigorating quality about these words. i have yet to read any of O' Donohue's books, but i can assure you that several are now on my book list.
 
i wanted to share this here in case it could speak similarly to any of you. i can recount so many seasons in which i felt exactly like this. indeed, have just been released from such a season. so i hope, if any of you are burdened and weary in such a way, these words bring you some encouragement and motivation to keep moving forward.

if you find them meaningful and choose to share them as well, please be sure to credit the author. as an artist myself, i believe that is is so very important to credit and source the art of those we admire properly.
especially in this easily shareable/tweetable/copy-and-paste society we reside in.


When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight.

The light in the mind becomes dim.
Things you could take in your stride before
Now become laborsome events of will.

Weariness invades your spirit.
Gravity begins falling inside you,
Dragging down every bone.

The tide you never valued has gone out.
And you are marooned on unsure ground.
Something within you has closed down;
And you cannot push yourself back to life.

You have been forced to enter empty time.
The desire that drove you has relinquished.
There is nothing else to do now but rest
And patiently learn to receive the self
You have forsaken in the race of days.

At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like listless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.

You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.
Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.

Scintillating Beauty

yesterday i read Martin Luther King Jr.’s thoughts in Letter From Birmingham Jail and was struck by their immense wisdom and meaning. i wanted to share some of my favorite lines and statements from it. there were some much larger passages which i especially loved but i refrained from stating larger ones as i want to encourage you to read it for yourself as a whole if you haven't. 
it is such an incredibly applicable and relevant piece for our world's present struggles.
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- so am i compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town.

-injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

-whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

-in any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: 
1. collection of the facts to determine wether injustices exist
2. negotiation
3. self-purification
4. direct action

-i must confess that i am not afraid of the word “tension.” i have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, non violent tension which is necessary for growth.

-we know that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

-and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness towards white people.

-all segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distort the soul and damages the personality. it gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an “I-it” relationship for an “I-thou” relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things.

-lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

-society must protect the robbed and punish the robber.

-human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this “hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. we must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.

-the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be — extremists for hate or for love? will we be extremist for the preservation of injustice or the extension of justice?

-there can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.

-i have tried to make clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends. but now i must affirm that it is just as wrong, or perhaps even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends. 

-in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty

Leney quote, Books Comments
Books I Read In 2016

i am an avid reader.
books often win out over groceries in the way of my budget sometimes....
last year i had a goal of reading 50 books and while i didn't quite make it, due to a bit of sidetracking in the middle of the year, i did read 32. 
i'm resetting the goal again for 2017 (already 4 books in!) and i'm also trying to make a point to use the library more again, as well as read what's already unread on my shelves as opposed to buying new books. 

here are a few from last year that i especially enjoyed.
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Wild by Cheryl Strayed -- i know i know, i was late on this bandwagon, but this being my first read of 2016 was very fitting. i loved it. i'm very much a lone-traveler and this was a story whose spirit, sense of adventure and narrative resonated very deeply with me. 

Spark Joy by Mari Kondo -- the sequal to The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I loved these books. hold onto only that which brings you joy.

Hold Still by Sally Mann -- i thuroughly enjoyed reading this memoir from Virginian photographer Sally Mann. her work is nothing short of stunning and inspiring, so to get a look into the thought process and reasoning behind some of her most moving bodies of work was really amazing.

Memoirs of A Geisha by Arthur Golden-- while this book was almost a bit too long and i had a hard time maintaining interest finishing it because of it's length, it was something i couldn't put down for the first half. it's a book on a culture and a time that's completely foreign to me, and, as any good book is able to do, it was able to immerse me into that in a breathtaking and complete way. my interest in the Japanese culture has been growing in recent years and this did nothing short of jumpstart it again.

Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills by Raleigh Briggs -- filled with so many wonderful recipes and DIYs, this book that a friend leant me is still on my bookshelf and i need to give it back... but there's so many things i want to try from it. 
i think i just need to get my own copy.

Spinster: Making A Life of One's Own by Kate Bolick-- while i wasn't in complete agreement with everything in this book, there was a large amount that very much fascinated me and that i could relate to and loved. a good read for all of us living-on-our-own types.

How To Be Parisian by Anne Berest-- a fun and light read that had me wanting to return to Paris something awful.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery -- one of my favorite stories ever ever ever (having watched the old movies countless times growing up). i want to live on Prince Edward Island.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert -- i actually feel the need to re-read this since i feel like i breezed through it during a slightly distracted let's-check-this-off-the-list sort of period in the year. but there were some golden words of wisdom in this one for sure. i also loved listening to her podcasts a while back too.

In The Heart of The Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick --i found this true story extremely riveting. but that might mostly be because of my sailing obsessed tendencies... #daughterofasailor

You'll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein -- a hilarious read. i often like having light and entertaining reads amidst my more serious/self enlightening books. this was good for that.

Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline -- i cannot stress enough how great of a read this was for me. just education and facts wise in the way of the fast fashion industry- a topic i've become so very passionate about. i want to re-read this one as well and actually cite some of the facts for remembrance and educating others. or, again, maybe i just need to buy my own copy and underline the mess out of it...
if you don't know much about the fast fashion industry, start with watching The True Cost.

Words From A Wanderer by Alex Elle-- everything my dear friend Alex writes is radiant and light filled and amazing. i almost have all of her books now and i can't wait for her new one to come out. reading these little bits once a day for 65 days was so wonderful. i'm actually already going through this one again.

Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifle Brunt-- i tend to be quite picky about fiction but i was really surprised as to how much i loved this story. the voice of the main character is beautiful and the way the author depicts the situation and the words she uses were so unique and had me unable to put it down.

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown-- a friend and i read this together (which i highly recommend doing because i got more out of the discussion and how-do-we-live-this-out accountability of reading this book with someone more than anything). it was essential in revealing important aspects of my life in regards to showing up more fully and being more present and honoring my authentic self.

Woolgathering by Patti Smith-- a quick read that was simple and beautiful.
but i love everything Patti Smith writes.

The Peregrine by J.A. Baker-- this was another book that seemed to drag on just a bit longer than i wanted it to, but it had some one liners in it that dare i say, at the risk of being overly dramatic, have truly changed my thought process on wandering and traveling and what beauty is in almost revolutionary ways. 


what were some of your favorite books from last year? 
what is on your to-read list for this year?
did you read any of the above books?
give me your lists and thoughts! 

let's pretend the comment section of this post is a mini book club.

xo

About Books

these are a few film photos my friend meagan took of me around this time last year and they make me excited for warm weather and books.
one of my favorite combinations. 

summer is coming. 
which means reading. lots of reading.
despite the fact that i have long since been out of school of any kind, and so my summers are no longer regulated and pre-appointed as "free time", i still somehow find it easiest and most natural to read more in the middle-of-the-year-months.
as much as i love curling up by a fire on a wintry day with a novel or snuggling under covers late at night with a biography from whichever musician/artist i'm currently obsessed with, i still find i most often read on beaches in the sun.
on boats in the wind.
on grass in the shade.
which can definitely be done in the aforementioned chilly weather, but is much more pleasant if i'm not overly stiff and stuffed with wearing 45 layers to keep warm.

last week i went sailing and read four books over as many days. a feat i somehow am never able to manage anywhere other than on a boat. it was glorious. i've found that that's truly one of the top reasons i love sailing. with being on a boat day after day, there are few distractions from technology (especially when your phone breaks... eep!) and the outside world and there's almost endless blocks of time to be still, slow down, and get lost amongst the pages of a book. 

i've set myself a lofty goal of reading 50 books this year... we'll see if i make it. but regardless, i'm just happy to once again be in a season that allows for my book worm tendencies to come about more naturally.

books i'm looking forward to reading include...
ani difranco: verses
m train by patti smith
tales of beatnik glory by ed sanders
unabrow: misadventures of a late bloomer by una lamarche
the gorgeous nothing's: emily dickinson's envelope poems
the year of magical thinking by joan didion
east of eden by john steinbeck
and at least half of the 302938 books i have on dorthea lange...
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what about you?
do you have any reading goals for the year? what's on your reading list?