Sunday Letter October 4th 2020
Last Friday I bought a beautiful hot pink book by Canadian Designer Bruce Mau called MC24 about creativity and design. It is still wrapped in plastic. All the ideas contained in that book are sealed in. Sealed from me right now. Waiting to be revealed.
For years I have referred to Mau's creativity manifesto. He is a force for creativity. I don't know much about his other work but that manifesto is a beautiful thing. It inspires me. I have a big poster in my office under the light switch. Sometimes when I turn off the lights before I go home at night I read over one of the points and remind myself of a way to stay creative.
I did not take the plastic off his book because I want to take time with that book. It's not a peeking book for me. I don't want to ruin the surprise. It's a sit down, nobody home, not get interrupted, kind of book. Honestly, as of yet I don't know if it is a good book. But I know that an unopened book holds profound promise.
Every new book I come across has the potential to change the way I think. It can change the way I feel. A book can change your life.
It is a thing of hope.
It is a thing of beauty.
Oh yes I buy them for their covers.
And oh yes I take the jackets of them most often just to hold that cover right in my hands.
I love a linen cover on a book. The book I am reading on Henri Matisse has a linen cover. It open and lays flat on a table. It's a perfect thing.
Sometimes after I read a book, I think, well that could have been a handout. Sometimes I wish there was more. There is no guarantee that they are worth the time it will take. So I'll abandon a book if I think it's not worth it. I will also skip chapters to get to parts I am really interested in, especially if it is non fiction. A novel I am not loving gets tossed in the give away pile. I don't keep reading just to finish it. It has to hold some promise. Because as I said before, it is because of promise that I read in the first place.
I am not a book collector. Unless they are especially beautiful, reference books, or a book whose ideas I want to revisit I give them away quickly. While they are still fresh and resonating. I keep just a few. Those I keep matter for some reason.
I don't retain facts well and I find that as I change what I get from books change. I have reread books I read in my twenties in my fifties and was left to wonder why I had kept it so many years. Still I keep them if they mattered once they might matter again. Sometimes I pick up a book to reread within a year and find things I missed the first time around.
Books are just an education. They teach you meaning. They help make sense of the world. They deepen you the way an education does.
I have been savouring the idea of reading that Bruce Mau book for a week and I think today I'll crack it open because the more I learn the more I'll have to teach you. I like to share what I learn.
I have been loving creating my online courses. It has changed the way I think about learning and growth. Learning and creating are the most exciting things that happens in my life. Truly.
I just read this letter to my husband and he said, "What about me?" and I I said, "I loved you because of the books I found upon your shelf." And that was true.
Books lead you to people. Books lead you to places. They bring the ideas of people you admire into your space and your consciousness.
Learning is the best thing you will ever do for yourself. My father told me that a long time ago. I carry it with me.
Thank you for reading.
- Deanne Fitzpatrick