Welcome to
Transactions with Beauty.
Thanks for being here.
I hope that this is a space that inspires you to add something beautiful to the world. I truly believe that 
you are required to make something beautiful.

– Shawna



She Would Buy the Flowers Herself

She Would Buy the Flowers Herself

Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.
— Virginia Woolf

My writing music has been Max Richter's Mrs. Dalloway, In the Garden this week. And because I went out and bought myself flowers, I thought I'd share the YouTube video. 

{link here for readers of the newsletter}

You can listen to Three worlds, Music from Woolf World here

gerbera flowers on books

I recently had a moment of panic, looking for a favourite book on my shelf. You might remember that I downsized my library over the summer. Since then, this has happened to me a few times. I can't find a particular book and I start to worry that in my ruthless purging mode, I would have given away a book that I now need

Happily, though, the book was there. Sands of the Well by Denise Levertov. I don't know why suddenly I had the urge to hold this book, but I did, and opened it to the following poem:

Flowers Before Dark

by Denise Levertov

Stillness of flowers. Colours
a slow intense fire, faces
cool to the touch, burning.
Massed flowers in dusk, crimson, 
magenta, orange,
unflickering furnace, gaze
unswerving, innocent scarlet,
ardent white, afloat
on late light, serene passion
stiller than silence. 

books and colourful daisies

The way that books come to us, lines from books, poems, always seems like a miracle to me. This reminds me of a conversation I had while working at the library a couple of weeks ago, in the stacks. (The 800s to be precise). Two women were talking. I asked them if they needed help finding anything but they were self-sufficient. One of them said, oh we're fine, we're just waiting for a book to fall off the shelf and into our hands. That happens, you know. It's happened to me, you know. I nodded, and said, oh yes, me too, all the time. (True story. I've even written about that somewhere in one of my books, who knows which one). People wouldn't believe it though, would they, until it happened to them, she said. Exactly, said I. It's a common library miracle. 

I'd been feeling bitter about things. About politics. About attitudes, unkindnesses. About the world. And this exchange somehow made things a little better. As books do. As flowers do. 

Winter Praise, Winter Radiance

Winter Praise, Winter Radiance

My Most Intimate Friend

My Most Intimate Friend