What’s your favorite color?
I always say my favorite color is blue, but that’s not really true. My favorite color is color. I love the green of early spring, when the leaves are so small individually that you really can’t call them leaves, but all together up there against the blue sky they are a brilliant shade that seems to glow sunlight. I love the silver taupe color of Chapin’s belly fur. It looks like art strokes from someone’s paintbrush. I love the color my toes turn when I have a tan. The produce section of a good grocery store makes me giddy. I am a whore for 10-pack colored Sharpies and Crayola crayons. When I was four I stole two handfuls of loose buttons from Jo-Ann Fabrics because the combination of their cool hard roundness in my hands and their bright primary colors was so beautiful that I couldn’t bear to leave the store without them. (I had to take them back, of course, but shortly after this incident my grandmother started keeping her buttons in a cookie tin, to which I had full access. It was way better than theft.)
You’ve never taken drugs. Why not? Would you, if you knew that your safety would be guaranteed and/or no one ever told? When I was in high school I didn’t do drugs because I was just plain afraid, and I didn’t hang out with people who did drugs. When I was in college I didn’t do drugs because I was afraid of losing control. I knew people who smoked pot, but again, I didn’t really hang out with the drug crowd. Now I would never do drugs because I teach high school students and I see the effects of drug abuse every day. I teach kids whose parents were users during pregnancy, and I teach kids who are so addicted to any number of substances that their only thought is where they’re going to get their next gram of whatever. It’s not pretty. So no, not even with all those guarantees.
What book has touched you the deepest in your life?
Most recently, Love in the Driest Season by Neely Tucker. I purchased a copy for myself, and the day after I finished reading it I purchased five more. I gave them to five people and told them to read the book and share, or read it and return it to me. The ones that come back to me get passed right along to someone else. I just gave a copy to a colleague this morning. If you’re interested, buy a copy or email me your address, and when one comes back to me I’ll pass it along.
The book that’s meant the most to me overall is Barbara Kingsolver’s The Bean Trees, which I dicuss here. I’ve read it numerous times, and each time I am different, so I see the story in a different way. Every single time, though, I am moved deep in my core by the characters and their stories. Seriously, read it if you haven’t.
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