The Friday Five – Beautiful Words

Join me every Friday when I run down inspiring links and t’ings. February’s theme is “Beautiful Words”

Previous TFF’s can be seen here

There’s a shelf in my library that I call my “keeper shelf”. It’s a collection of my absolutely favorite books that I refer to time and time again. In this week’s “Friday Five”, I’m sharing 5 of these great reads. I especially love this particular set because each book is structured so that you can dip in and out of them as needed–and they are also so good that you can immerse yourself and read them from cover to cover. The choice is yours. I know that each time I revisit them I learn something new about life, about creativity and about myself. 

My Life Interpreted by Wanda Octave
This is a lovely little book of 99 uplifting messages about life by a woman who dreamed of becoming an author. This book began as a weekly email to a select group of friends. I’m so glad she decided to share it with the rest of us.

Much-loved quote:

“Life is short…pay attention to what you say, who you listen to, and what you read. Words are powerful.”

Creating Eden – The Garden as a Healing Space by Marilyn Barrett
When I reach for this book, it reaches back and wraps its arms around me. It brings back memories of my garden at my first house. Now I realize how many teachable moments I experienced there.

Much-loved quote:

“To make room for the new, I need to clear out what didn’t work, what didn’t give back to me, what didn’t thrive.”

Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
A classic. An inspiring collection of reflections about life, love and the need for solitude. Peace and contentment to all who enter here.

Much-loved quote:

“Certain springs are only tapped when we are alone. The artist knows he must be alone to create; the writer, to work out his thoughts; the musician to compose; the saint, to pray.”

The Gift – Creativity & the Artist in the Modern World 25th Anniversary Edition by Lewis Hyde
Lengthier and more complicated that the others—I admit the first time through I was more confused than clear. The Gift, however, inspired me to teach art. I think one of The Gift’s underlying messages is about connecting to a state of flow. I’ll be reading it again in 2015, just to be sure.

Much-loved quote:

“In art the self becomes self-forgetful.”

Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
It feels like I’m eavesdropping, reading the letters between Rilke and his mentee, Franz Kappus. I’m on what must be my 10th reread and I’m finally connecting with these wise lessons about the creative journey.

Much-loved quote:

“To be an artist means not to compute or count; it means to ripen as the tree, which does not force its sap, but stands unshaken in the storms of spring with no fear that summer might not follow.”

Help me add to my list! What books do you turn to again and again for inspiration and growth?

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