April 2, Wednesday evening -- Reading Ekhart Tolle

During her three hour gap between two web design classes at City College (Mission Branch)

Reading A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, by Ekhart Tolle. When she began the classes she decided to make time to read more and this is what she chose, amongst a stack of novels--she wanted something that would lift her spirits. It's something she needs right now like, she said, medicine or, no, vitamins.

She told me that Oprah is now doing classes on Ekhart Tolle, on skype, and about 1.5 million people get online at one time to take the classes! But, she's at her web design class at that time, and, also, prefers not to spend too much time at a computer.

She is an artist. Before the dot com bust she used to paint and run a theater that would do political pieces. Now she has a business making paper cranes which she glazes and ships all over the world. The cranes symbolize peace, and sometimes she makes them out of things that people send her, like love letters or maps of their cities. You can see them at www.localcolorist.etsy.com. Sometimes the cranes are made with likenesses to favorite musicians or actors.

Her favorite book of all time--Magister Ludi, also known as The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hess. She reads it about once every ten years.

And, a book from her childhood which she recalls fondly--Kon-Tiki, by Thor Heyerdahl, about an adventure on a papyrus raft to prove that it was possible that a nomadic tribe made the sculptures on Easter Island. She likes autobiographies.

If she were to write her own book, it would be about her mother. She'd have to do research. She was raised in the San Francisco foster care system and only learned, when she was thirty-five, when foster children received more access to their parents history, a little bit about her mother. She learned that her mother, who lived in San Francisco post World War II, was working as a change girl. What is a change girl? she wondered, and asked a coworker, who knows everything, at the Nob Hill Gazette, where she was working at the time. A change girl, she learned, would dress in beautiful evening gowns and work in the underground gambling houses of that era, making change....and more substantial money as the night wore on. Her mother was, most likely, she said, a "lady of the night." A lot was going on at that time. San Francisco was corrupt and a lot of fun. It was where poeple from Hollywood would come to party. She would like to find poeple to interview to learn more about her mother's life, ways to research this book.

In the background, down the street on the right, after the blue house, you can see the Revolution cafe--here's some shots of it with people reading. I love this neighborhood! It's a good place to find people who are reading the books they need! right now.

What sort of book do you need right now?


Jen said...

i need something to lift my spirits, too. something to show the world is not made out of the idiots i keep running into everyday :D

but i'm finishing 'the once and future king' and re-reading my favorite author (roger zelazny), so at least i get some peace and quiet once a day.

i just noticed your call for similar blogs... i have one, but there's a problem: it's in romanian :D in case you're interested, you can look at the pictures at least... it's at http://carteadingeanta.com ('cartea din geanta' means 'the book in the bag')

Anonymous said...

I need something that will reach out to the masses intellectually and awaken, so that we may collectively bring ourselves out of this financial and social mess we're in now.

Hermann Hesse's last name has an 'e' at the end, and in the second to last paragraph, in the last sentence, you misspelled "people".

Just a minor note.

webbie said...

I need escapism. I want to laugh or be swept away to another time and place. Unfortunately, I'm in the middle of a rather brutal murder mystery set locally and roughly based on true events.

Now that will but a smile on your face.;-)

prettycheapjewelry said...

The guest subject 'localcolorist' is an internet buddy of mine, a matriarch and historian of the California Crafters Club of Etsy. Interesting well of past, present, and future insights.

Jewelry by Tara said...

Fantastic blog, I can really appreciate any emphasis on reading these days. Nancy AKA LocalColorist, is my mentor/guide to the artist community.

Thank you for picking such an amazing woman to write about!

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Anonymous said...

I had been wanting to start to read more when I discovered your blog. I have read several books that the subjects of your photos were reading and joined the Public Library as well. What a great way to find a book to read. I love all of the little portraits of the readers and the stories that go with them. THANK YOU!

voyance said...

Thanks! great blog!

Lydia said...

I must have needed these, because they were my purchases this week: 1. Publishing a Blog with Blogger, by Elizabeth Castro;
2. Clear Blogging: How People Blogging are Changing the World and How You Can Join Them; 3. tao te ching, a New English Verstion, by Stephen Mitchell; and 4. The Zen of Creativity: Cultivating Your Artistic Life

While at the bookstore I looked at the new Tolle book. For some reason he just doesn't do it for me.

Telmah said...

I love this blog's concept; it has also given me some great ideas for future reads!

Seri said...

I love inspirational books about finding God. That's important to me right now.

voyance said...

Thanks! Great Blog!

Anonymous said...

I need a book that is based on a real life event where good triumphed over evil... I need something to show me that the world isn't completely bad and that there is so hope.

This need is probably highlighted by a blog I've just started, where I'm posting positive news articles that show the good things that are happening - they're harder to find then I thought they would be.

I also reguarly need a book where the complete disaster-of-a-girl can find her Prince Charming.

Susanna said...

I just ordered this book. Ekhart Tolle's name is being mentioned too much around me and now I come here and here it is again...better read it. Might be something in it for me.

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