Hello Moonlings! I hope you are all well, and 2020 is treating you kindly. I had some inspiration to make a YouTube video talking about 3 books I read in 2019 that really challenged me.
The first one I had read before, but many aeons ago when I had only started university. The second I had wanted to read one of that nature but hadn’t yet. Finally “Dirt to Soil” was a wonderfully accurate gift from Le’Boo last Christmas. He is excellent at surprising me with books.
I hope you enjoy the video and let me know if you read certain books to challenge yourself! I am on GoodReads so feel free to join me over there.
“The Forest People.” – Colin Turnbull
“Against Empathy.” – Paul Bloom
I have not reviewed this on my GoodReads. I did only give it 4/5 stars, but I explain that in the video.
“Dirt to Soil.” – Gabe Brown
“Everyone needs to read this book. Not just farmers, or ranchers but every human. We all eat, and our choices on which food we buy may mean the life or death of our Earth.” – My GoodReads review
Welcome to Thinking Moon’s new category, Indie Sundays. I have pledged to read more indie books this year. I would like to discover and promote indie creators. They who are the next big thing, waiting in the wings of art to be propelled into the spotlight, and who am I to deny them their break? So please enjoy this new, albeit sporadic category. Filled with authors, movie-makers, poets, artists, and just the general misc of cool people the world would be grey without.
Speaking of grey without, our inaugural Indie Sunday extraordinary brings such colour to my life. N. F Mirza is the blogger Stoner On A Rollercoaster, and I have been following her for around two years now. They blog about their journey through depression and anxiety which I sadly empathise with. They create beautiful works of art, and I have been a fan of their aptly touching prose and gentle craft since I discovered them. When I heard that they had a book of poetry in the pipeline I immediately pre-ordered it.
Today I will be reviewing their debut poetry collection “Swinging Sanity,” which I devoured this weekend, over cups of coffee. Here is that review in all its finery, and can I say, dear Mirza, it gave me life.
Swinging Sanity – Review
As far as debuts go, this is up there with the greats for me. I am a poetry fanatic, and very sensitive about its conjuncture. This wonderfully cathartic, yet tragic piece of work filled the gaps of my broken heart, as she waxed about pain, love, life, and the pursuit of elusive joy.
The work is divided into five parts, each a protective canopy over its subject matter. Beginning with “Screaming Numbness” we are treated to exquisitely painful lyrics about suffering and mental illness.
“I am numb, I miss pain, Oh Pain!” – Just Like A Drop Of Water
“Then I hold the little spear, like a plume in the hands of a poet.” – Celebrating The Curse
“That horrid vortex finally spat me out I am stunned to be alive.” – Anything But Sane
We press on into the pages of “Love & Loss” as she tells her tales from the world of love. As humans, we are never free from pain. We are allowed moments of beauty as a reprieve between the senseless chaos of the universe.
“My ebony hair free from confines, as you like it, now don’t rush, watch how the end unfolds.” – A Poem I Can’t Name
“I saw a glimpse of excruciating agony.” – “A Dying Heart
“And I saw your last breath, Ascend to the sky, flying away, with a piece of me.” – When You Slept
“Where Earth would cradle my soul, to the rhythm of screaming water.” – This Is How I Want To Sleep
When the flushes of pain and joy are over we are treated to poems about the “Day and Night“. Her suffering mind remembers these times so vividly, and her fascination of the night sky appeals to fellow insomniac in me.
“The sun tirelessly shone all day, Still failed, To Ease this murky dark abyss, That’s made my mind it’s home.” – A Long Wordless Day
“I Remember those tiny fireflies, chasing each other into the darkness.” “When time wouldn’t fly, and the clocks were noiseless.” – Those Enchanting Nights
“Squalling for mercy.” – Nightmare Again.
Life is a dazzling series of confusion and clarity. Mirza’s section, “C’est La Vie” has some hard truths about the world we try to live in. When I read these lines they ignite in me my own fears, wonders, and imagination.
“My smouldering blistering tears…were ignored and denied, now sear my skin, in the dead dark cave of my anonymity.” – Cave Of My Anonymity
“They didn’t tell me, This demonic ritual, will slowly morph me, Into another fierce royal blue dragon.” – Fierce Royal Blue Dragon
“My nails look dirty too, Like I dug my way, Out of a grave.” “But I look great, prettier, happier than I ever looked, just like the rest of the crowd.” – Carnival
The final section “Random Thoughts,” is just that, and we see the author grappling with the suffering of now, hopefully, one day leading to the freedom of tomorrow. Out of struggle, so will the time of quiet victory, and self-assurance be born. Where those of us with kindness, walk alongside those of difficult persuasions. She closes the collection strong leaving us both elated with hope, and sturdy with solidarity. Please buy this poetry collection, it is too exquisite to remain unread.
“And one day, we will wake up, From this grim nightmare…Embellished with grime…But Hearts, Clear as glass.” – One Day
“Fueling my soul, I wait for my turn, I don’t waste tears.” – Waiting For My Turn
“Or to be, Like Ocean, Deep and blue, Holding a chunk of universe, In its womb.” – Blue
“And I see you…High on ignorance.” – A Million Dead Stars
“I pull out the last scroll, And scribble few enduring syllables…” – Last Poem Of October
If you haven’t checked out her blog yet please do it’s so interesting she discusses Daoism by providing a place for those interested in learning and sharing.
It a wonderful award and I’m very grateful for the nomination. It highlights and supports bloggers like myself and Ms Jade Li who are slowly growing their audience. Now it would appear that the rules are as follows:
Acknowledge the blogger that gave it to you and display the award.
Answer 11 questions that the blogger gave you.
Give 11 random thoughts about yourself.
Nominate 11 other bloggers and notify them of their nomination.
Ask your nominees 11 questions.
Now without further ado I will answer these questions.
Sunlight or moonlight? Moonlight, always.
Top 5 favorite movies? Beauty and The Beast, Toy Story, The Big Lebowski, Clueless, The Matrix.
Funniest thing you ever saw? My brother and boyfriend every day.
Best thing that ever happened to you by accident? Meeting my PhD supervisor.
Weirdest dream you ever had? I in fact dream every night and often dream of the apocalypse.
If you had 3 wishes that could come true, what would they be? Health for my family, success in my writings and more understanding in the world.
Favorite cartoon as a kid? The Weekenders.
Favorite toy as a kid? Crayons and paper.
If you could have a party with your favorite musician/group playing for it, who would you choose to play for your party? Foo Fighters.
If you could build any invention, what would it be? An automatic translator that you wear in your ear like a hearing aid.
My birthday is also a Star Wars pun: May the Fourth be with you.
My feet are so cold all the time that I always wear 2 pairs of socks every day.
When I was 11 I joined my local brass band.
I’m the tallest woman (at 5.4 ft / 1.6m) on both sides of my family.
I have green eyes, but my left eye has a brown dot. My cousin has the exact same green eyes, with the exact same brown dot.
Halloween is my Christmas.
My love came to me after 2 heartaches.
My favourite colour is blue but my favourite colour to wear is red.
My second favourite colour is green.
I love Buzz Lightyear so much I got him tattooed on my leg.
I’m letting my hair go grey.
11 QUESTIONS FOR MY NOMINEES:
1. What fruit do you dislike? 2. What genre of music are you most likely to win a Grammy for? 3. What is your worst earworm? 4. Which aminal do you most relate to? 5. What is your favourite scent? 6. If you could change your first name to anything what would it be? 7. How many countries have you visited? 8. Converse or Vans? 9. If you could meet one fictional character who would it be? 10. What is something that’s very popular but you just don’t get? 11. Halloween or Christmas?