Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Splash of Simple Synchronicities

I love it when things dovetail.
For instance, hearing an actor interviewed on CBC radio because she'd recently published a book, and realizing that she was a bit player in a movie I'd watched the day before. And another actor in that same movie played the lead in a film adaptation of a book I'm currently reading. Which was given to me by a person whose first name is the same as the CBC interviewer. That kind of stuff.

Here's this month's collection of cool connections.
It began in June, wandering through Chapters' bargain books. I love mysteries, and this one looked good.

It helps a lot with this kind of thing if you can't remember what or whom you've read before. Delving into this one, I realized as the story unfolded that the characters and setting were familiar. I had read another of Louise's Inspector Gamache novels before. But which one?

The CBC is my computer's homepage. Scrolling around aimlessly one day last week I came upon an article entitled 100 Novels That Make You Proud To Be Canadian. And on the list was Still Life by Louise Penny. Research the plot. Yes! That's the one I've read.

More clicking around revealed three people who were the inspiration for her quietly wise Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. One of them was Gregory Peck and his portrayal of Atticus Finch in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.
Holy cats! Here we are right in the middle of all the hoopla surrounding Lee's second book, Go Set a Watchman. Last month, because of the unrelenting hype around Ms. Lee, I rewatched this movie.

My granddaughter, Emily, and I were sitting on the porch step last week watching a spider work in her web. From time to time, a hefty breeze set the web to swaying. Would it hold? What do spiders do? Why are they good? Yes, they suck the blood out of the bugs they catch in their sticky webs. Yes, that is a bit creepy. We talked about a book called Charlotte's Web that Emily's mom loved as a child.

Speaking of spiders, I have some at work in my basement. For this we need to go back to Emily's mom, my daughter Becca. She came over for movie night a couple of weeks ago to watch Anne of Green Gables (also on the 100 Novels list!). I was showing her the de-leaking work going on downstairs, and Becca pointed out some rather beefy-looking spiders hanging around the holes in the bared cement block.
Those are wolf spiders, she said. They're the most aggressive type of spider we have around here.
Will they lunge out at me from all the way over there?
I don't think so.
(A google image search convinced me not to include a picture of a wolf spider here. This is a happy post.)

On the CBC Books page, there's a feature called My Life in Books. A couple of days after Emily's visit and our spider conversation, I learned that the book Louise Penny credits with making her a lifelong reader is... Charlotte's Web! I began reading it that very same day.

This morning, out on the porch with tea before the shade disappeared, I read this conversation between Wilbur the pig and Charlotte the spider.

     "What do people catch in the Queensborough Bridge - bugs?" asked Wilbur.
     "No," said Charlotte. "They don't catch anything. They just keep trotting back and forth across the bridge thinking there is something better on the other side. If they'd hang head-down at the top of the thing and wait quietly, maybe something good would come along. But no - with men it's rush, rush, rush, every minute. I'm glad I'm a sedentary spider."

Victorian Fairy
Charlotte the spider and The Hanging Fairy advise us to Stop, Look, and Listen.