Stardust and Stuff

Jan 28, 2023 by Rose O'Keefe

One I enjoyed in particular was about the astounding amount of dust that collects behind and underneath furniture. He included information from a medical journal about an allergy study of dust labeled Stuff. Varied items in the Stuff studied included the obvious bits of wool, cotton, paper, bugs, food, plants, leaves, ash and spores. His big surprise was that most of it came from people’s dead skin and hair, and disintegrated meteorites! In relation to dusting, I had recently said to my husband, “We are stardust and to stardust we shall return.” Fulghum’s final words: “It isn’t dirt. It’s cosmic compost.” So cool.

Amos Fortune: Free Man by Elizabeth Yates, the 1951 Newbery Award winner, was a satisfying and solemn tribute to an African prince who lost all in the slave trade, and adjusted to life near colonial Boston. The story was based on a real person who lived from 1710 to 1801,  and survived the dreadful passage across the Atlantic, and the countless indignities of racism. Throughout all the changes in place and status, Fortune maintained a  profound respect for self and others and helped others, particularly slave women. What a powerful story.  

I thought I’d finished reading Empowering You It’s Your Time! Powerful Stories of Struggle to Strength, (2022) collected by Barbara H. Smith, when I noticed a bookmark near the end of it. Reading Carla A. Murphy’s final essay was wonderful. I really liked her five-step process for reinventing oneself: Pray; Pause; Prepare; Plan; and Present. I was also very impressed with Murphy’s author biography as a Baptist youth minister, investigator, forensic interviewer, HR employees relations specialist, life coach, public speaker and TV host. She is a credit to the city of Buffalo, New York and her family.

blog post. #amreading; #RobertFulghum; #allIneedtoknow; #stardust; #amosfortunefreeman; #elizabethyates; #newberyaward; #EmpoweringYou; #BarbaraHSmith; #CarlaAMurphy;