There's something about sitting in a little Patesserie in North Portland, right near the section that opens to the outside with the gentle breeze, watching the prolific number of bicyclists brave rush hour traffic as only us Portlanders can do, drinking a Rosemary Mocha, eating a lemon tart, discussing these books and connecting with these women  (whom I adore)  ....

...these fill me up like few things do.

Very few.

Is it the fact that I'm working only 20 hours at a week at The Very Large Hospital completing extremely menial tasks (and am therefore, mostly, wholly unchallenged)?

Is it that I'm now living on my own again?  (I doubt it - I'm really very talented at this.)

Is it that I really only get to have adult, thought provoking conversations for 45 minutes every night when Shoes calls?  Note:  I have thought provoking conversations with all of my friends; but we're really not single 20 somethings anymore, with the time to just drop by each other's homes and visit.  I, howeve, do have this time.  At least this summer.

I digress.

Book club:  The Children of Men, PD James.  It received thumbs up all around.  Blurb from the cover:  "The human race has become infertile, and the last generation to be born is now adult.  Civilization itself is crumbling as suicide and despare become commonplace.  Oxford historian Theodore Faron, apathetic toward a future without a future, spends most of his time reminiscing.  Then he is approached by Julian, a bright, attractive woman who wants him to help get her an audience with his cousin, the powerful Warden of England.  She and her band of unlikely revolutionaries may just awaken his desire to live ... and they may also hold the key to survival for the human race."

Sounds pretty dark, right?  I suppose that's accurate.  While Julian and her "band of unlikely revolutionaries" have hope and passion, it appears as though the rest of the human race has lost both.  No ambition.  Nothing to look forward to.    The disscusion of our book group centered around apathy, the patterns of power and failure that humans seem to follow, and what constitutes true love.
While the blurb may make it difficult for one to believe that this book may be about romantic love, it is one of the major themes we drew out of it.  What constitutes love?  How do we choose partners?  How do relationships end?  What is family?   How do we decide to have children?

As women in our early 30s, we think about these things.  As professional, graduate students with bucket-fulls of student loans, we think about these things.

I just love these women.  Perhaps because I am narcissistic and selfish and grab at meaning in my own personal life out of the experiences of others.  Perhaps. 

Perhaps I just love the thinking and the analyzing and the freedom to draw whatever conclusions I wish from our conversations.

Book for August:  The Bonesetter's Daughter, Amy Tan.  Queue's updated.

Wishing you all a chance to get to your local North Bakery, get lost in a book and sip some tea ....


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