Books that open your head

Alexander, Christopher W.  A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction

Anderson, Walter Inglis   The Horn Island Logs of Walter Inglis Anderson
Arndt, Ingo      Animal Architecture

Bantock, Nick   Griffin and Sabine

Barklem, Jill       The Secret Staircase

Becker, Aaron      Journey

Bender, Tom      Silence Song and Shadows: Our Need for the Sacred in Our Surroundings

Berry, Jill K.      Map Art Lab: 52 Exciting Art Explorations in Mapmaking, Imagination, and Travel

Brown, Patricia D.       Paths to Prayer: Finding Your Own Way to the Presence of God

Brown, Peter         Mr. Tiger Goes Wild

Cameron, Julia    The Complete Artist’s Way : Creativity as a Spiritual Practice

Castaneda, Carlos   The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge

Chapin, Ross  Pocket Neighborhoods: Creating Small-Scale Community in a Large-Scale World

Cloud, Henry      Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life

Collins, Ross     Doodleday

Dass, Ram     Be Here Now

Dick, Philip K.        Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Egan, Tim        The Pink Refrigerator

Elgin, Suzette Haden        Star-Anchored, Star-Angered

Ewing, Al     I, Zombie

Foster, Alan Dean      Cyber Way

Gaiman, Neil     The Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes

Goldsworthy, Andy    Andy Goldsworthy: A Collaboration with Nature  (anything by him)

Hall, Michael     Red: A Crayon’s Story

Hallendy, Norman     Inuksuit: Silent Messengers of the Arctic

Hoff, Benjamin     The Tao of Pooh

Kalman, Maira        The Principles of Uncertainty

Lawhead, Stephen R.      The Skin Map (Bright Empires, #1)

L’Engle, Madeleine      A Wrinkle in Time

Lerner, Rokelle     Affirmations for the Inner Child

Lehman, Barbara    Museum Trip

MacBeth, Sybil       Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God

Martin, Bruce T.        Look Close, See Far: A Cultural Portrait of the Maya

Miles, Sara       Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion

Neeper, Cary      A Place Beyond Man: The Archives of Varok
Pohl, Frederik      A Plague of Pythons

Pratchett, Terry   Small Gods (Discworld, #13)

Rex, Adam      Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich

Roach, Mary       Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Rumi, Jalaluddin      The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems

Saltz, Ina      Body Type: Intimate Messages Etched in Flesh

Seuss, Dr.      Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?

Skloot, Rebecca     The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Smith, Keri      Wreck This Journal

Snodgrass, Melinda M.      The Tears of the Singers

Spangler, Ann       Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith

Swift, Vivian      When Wanderers Cease to Roam: A Traveler’s Journal of Staying Put

Tall, Stephen     The People Beyond the Wall

Tan, Shaun      The Arrival

Tolkein, J.R.R.      The Hobbit

Wiesner, David      Tuesday

Willems, Mo      You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When It Monsoons: The World on One Cartoon a Day

Zeff, Ted      The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide: Essential Skills for Living Well in an Overstimulating World



Many of these authors have other books – you are more than encouraged to explore them as well. Some of these books are fiction for adults, some are nonfiction, some are for children, and some are wordless, while some are just the beginning to a series that is just as interesting.






Roadside memorial


Another roadside memorial.  This is at an intersection on Gallatin Road, in Madison, TN (part of Nashville).  They are everywhere.  This one’s front cannot be viewed from this angle, which makes it all the more mysterious.  The front faces Gallatin, and that is a very busy road.  There is no way someone would be able to read it from there, zipping along on the road.  There isn’t a stop sign there.  This is in a between place.


There is a small metal tag attached to the top – it looks like one for a motorcycle.  The front looks like it is painted red. I kind of wish I’d gotten out of the car to look at it up close.

These memorials raise more questions than answers for me.

Who is this for?  Did s/he die here?  Is it to warn others that this is a dangerous intersection?

Did the person who placed it get permission to put this here?  Is this public property? Does this mean anybody can post whatever they want here?

How long will it stay? Forever?

When did this trend start, to memorialize the dead where they died?

When will it stop?  Why do I want it to stop?

Will it spill out and go everywhere – one at the desk of the person who died at work?  One on the sidewalk for the person who had a heart attack while walking her dog?

Why is it OK to celebrate grief in random places?

Why has a private feeling become public, yet anonymous?

Why am I so uncomfortable with this?  Why do I think it is low-class, gauche, tacky?

Why are they always Christian crosses – do Buddhists and Jews and Muslims and Hindus not die in traffic accidents too?  Do their families not care?  Or do they just know how to contain their grief in better ways?

Why is a graveyard better?  Why is hiding away grief better?

Are these to be seen as “memento mori” signs – reminders that you will die, that life is fleeting?