Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Cruelty and Humor


I am still plowing through Richard Flanagan's "The Narrow Road to the Deep North." It is possibly the bleakest book I've read in a long time. It's about Australian prisoners of war in a Japanese labor camp in Burma, and I am quite sure I could never have survived the conditions that are described in this book: starvation, disease, brutality. I suppose you never know until you're faced with them, but my life thus far has been way too soft to prepare me for any reality that harsh.

I didn't even start reading the book until about a week after I had supposedly "started" it, and then it took me about 75 to 100 pages to get into it, but now I can't tear myself away.

Dave is leaving on a school trip to Belgium tomorrow morning, so I'll have several days on my own to do some reading and work on some other projects. I'll miss him but I'm also looking forward to the alone time. Lentil soup! (Dave hates lentils, and they hate him.)

Also, this is a week of heavy photography at school. I took pictures of several teachers and the entire tenth grade (all at once) yesterday for more library reading posters -- a project begun by one of the other librarians. It's been fun to shoot portraits, because that is so not my thing. They've turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself!

And Friday, I'm helping to take a group of eighth-graders on an all-day photography expedition to East London. I have to put together a little presentation telling them about street photography, and then we're all going to go do some shooting around Brick Lane and Spitalfields. Should be fun!

(Photo: The world is just funny sometimes, isn't it? An office in Colindale, March 28.)

8 comments:

alphabet soup said...

Ah, the irony of it all - elite head office......

I haven't yet read "The Narrow Road to the Deep North" but it is my list - along with roughly a thousand other books. Richard Flanagan is not a writer for everybody but I have read and liked a couple of his earlier books.

Ms Soup

e said...

That photo is rather ironic...

37paddington said...

This sentence perplexes me: "I didn't even start reading the book until about a week after I had supposedly "started" it."

I'd love to see some of your portraits if people are ok with you posting them. I continue to marvel at the wonderful ways in which you've reinvented your life. The photography field trip sounds fun. I'd have loved that as a kid.

Ms. Moon said...

I'm with e.

Vivian said...

i love alone time!

Sharon Anck said...

I saw this photo when you posted it to Flickr and it made me chuckle. There is so much irony in this single shot.
Sounds like you have some photo adventures ahead of you. Should be very entertaining.

Steve Reed said...

Ms Soup: I've heard conflicting reviews of the book from my colleagues. Some people are definitely not into it.

E: Isn't it, though?!

Angella: Sorry for the confusion! I mean that I pulled the book out and posted to my blog that I was reading it, but I didn't crack the covers for yet another week. :) I'm not sure about posting the portraits. Let me think about it.

Ms Moon: So am I!

Vivian: Me too!

Sharon: I'm sure there will be stories. :)

ellen abbott said...

love the photo. and the outing with the school kids should be interesting.