Thursday, February 24, 2011


I'm currently reading Diane Ackerman's The Zookeeper's Wife. I'm roughly halfway done the book and I absolutely love the characters and unfolding events. It is a harrowing tale of the Holocaust and has led me to ponder aspects of everyday life.

Ackerman's descriptions are exquisite. One of her sentences has jumped from her pages and into my psyche, and I just have to share:

"hands cradle newborns, build cities, plant vegetables, caress loved ones, teach our eyes the shape of things - how round swells, how sand grits - bridge lonely hearts, connect us to the world, map the difference between self and other, fasten onto beauty, pledge loyalty, cajole food from grain, and so much more."
(p 177-178)

Reading the above passage instantly reminded me of my teenage years. I remember my mother telling my sixteen/seventeen (something-teen?) self to look at my hands if I ever felt sad or disheartened by one of life's roadblocks.

Why hands?

Hands are responsible for so much of what we are, what we have, and what we remember. There may be low points in life and hands can be extremely damaging forces. But, at the end of the day, we know there is good in this world as our hands have expressed love for others, care for those in need, striven for excellence in one of our own creations, and in essence, helped create the patchwork quilt of characteristics, accomplishments, and memories that compose us as unique human beings.

P.S. This is my one hundredth post. Thank you to all who have commented, followed, and sent me words of encouragement for this little blog.


  1. I'll be interested to see what you make of the book when you're through. Recently read this in book group and we were all moved by the content, of course, but Ackerman's throw-everything-in-willy-nilly approach jarred/annoyed some by the end. I hope you'll write a second installment of this review.

  2. Hi Laurie,

    I do plan to do another post/review for the book very soon. Thank you for visiting and commenting!


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