Friday, May 29, 2020
Monday, May 18, 2020
I have spent the last several weeks immersed in reading about Sigmund Freud and his most notable work, The Interpretation of Dreams. Known as the founding father of psychoanalysis, Freud was born on May 6, 1856 to Jewish parents. Studying the Torah was important to Freud’s father, although the family didn’t strictly follow Jewish religious traditions. Freud’s view on religion was that God is an illusion, a protector or father figure, to help man restrain violent impulses. Freud had a lot of controversial beliefs, and it was fascinating to learn about his life, work, theories.
When Freud used an example of Joseph interpreting the Pharaoh’s dream in the Old Testament, I was reminded of other dreams in the Bible. There was Jacob who dreamed about a ladder into heaven and in the New Testament Joseph, the carpenter, who dreamed that he should not divorce Mary since her child was the Savior. These are just a few examples ... there are twenty-four dreams mentioned in the Bible.
One major theory of Freud’s was that dreams help to make the unconscious, conscious. The unconscious mind is full of thoughts, memories, and emotions that the conscious mind is not necessarily aware of. While asleep, the mind brings these things to life in dreams. When awakened with a dream memory, usually in partial pieces, the conscious mind becomes aware and often this awareness requires interpretation. We all know that symbolism plays a big part in dreams and sometimes appears obscure or silly when retelling the dream.
Freud experimented with hypnosis and a ‘talking cure’ while analyzing his patients with dream interpretation. His practice was the first to use a therapy couch where patients would recline to talk freely about anything without judgement. Lying down, eliminates eye contact and brings one closer to a dream-like state where the unconscious can more easily reveal itself. Using free association methods helped patients understand the symbolism in their dreams.
When writing his ideas and methods in The Interpretation of Dreams, Freud began analyzing himself and recognized that dreams are often the result of unfulfilled wishes. In other words, dreams are the vehicle that brings desires to life in the unconscious mind. Freud described getting to the bottom of one’s subconscious thoughts and understanding what lies beneath is like cutting though the layers of a Dobos cake with a long thin knife. This is a seven-layer cake, named for the Hungarian chef who invented it. One must be very careful when cutting to the bottom of those layers, easily sliding the knife under the bottom of the cake, in order to not destroy the slice upon extraction. Same goes for psychoanalysis.
Freud’s writing style is engaging and I think this is probably required reading for one studying dream research. This book is a classic read about the history of psychology and provides us with an introduction to ‘Freudian theories’. Today many of those theories haven’t fared well. His ideas are not substantiated by current research. I did find that in many cases Freud over-generalized, lacked scientific evidence, and often over emphasized sex. Despite the contentious nature of his work, it was very intriguing and plied my curiosity.
After reading The Interpretation of Dreams, I wanted to know more about Freud’s influences and life. What I learned was even more intriguing. Freud was highly intelligent and earned his MD from the University of Vienna at the age of twenty-five. He began his career in 1882 at the Vienna General Hospital and while there his research on cocaine became well-known. It was believed to be a cure for mental problems and beneficial in eye surgery as a numbing painkiller. Before long cocaine addiction and overdoses caused Freud to stop using and recommending it.
Marie Bonaparte, the great niece of Napoleon, was Freud’s most prominent patient and her fortune helped fund his research on use of psychoanalysis. When the Nazi Party took control of Germany, Freud’s books were burned along with other books by Jewish intellectuals. He was known for saying; “What progress we are making. In the Middle Ages they would have burned me. Now, they are content with burning my books.” Freud escaped persecution from the Nazis and took his family to Britain. He died there in 1938 at the age of 83, from complications resulting from mouth cancer.
This short review cannot include everything there is to say about Freud and The Interpretation of Dreams, but maybe there is enough here to start your own curiosity. You might find answers to questions you’ve had concerning dreams, or you might be inspired to look for a Dobos Cake recipe like I did, and make a delicious cake to celebrate the remarkable life and legacy of Sigmund Freud.
Monday, May 4, 2020
Congress officially recognizes May as National Military Appreciation Month and is a great time to thank our armed forces as well as our veterans for the freedoms and safety we have in our great nation. Memorial Day is the only federal holiday we have in May, taking place at the end of the month. This holiday reminds us to never forget our fallen soldiers, especially the many sacrifices and hardships they endured for us.
Armed Services Day, every third Saturday in May, honors the unified services of those protecting us on land, at sea, and in the air. During our nation’s fight against COVID-19, there have been over 10,000 members of the Army National Guard and Air Force National Guard mobilized to assist with logistics, distributing food, and disinfecting public spaces. Army medical researchers are working hard at helping to develop a vaccine and military bases are being utilized as quarantine housing.
Another appreciation day in May that some may be unaware of is Military Spouse Appreciation Day. Ronald Regan first proclaimed this day in 1984 and it is recognized on the Friday before Mother’s Day. America’s military spouses are the backbone of families who support our troops during mission, deployment, reintegration and reset. Military spouses are silent heroes who are essential to the strength of the nation, and they serve our country just like their loved ones.
Ashe Library’s Talking Service Book Club will meet at 10:00 a.m. on Friday May 8 via ZOOM, a virtual platform that is becoming a popular way of communicating while many are forced to stay home. This book club provides the opportunity for military veterans to come together with their peers and others interested in their concerns to discover ways of reflecting on their time serving our country. Deeanna Burleson, retired Army Lt. Colonel, is the group’s facilitator. At each meeting a selection from the anthology, Standing Down: From Warrior to Civilian is highlighted. The selection chosen for May 8 is: You Know When the Men Are Gone by, Siobhan Fallon. Coincidentally, this piece is a perfect choice for military spouse appreciation, and was selected without realizing that it is about issues military wives face while their soldier husbands are deployed. Fallon’s book is a collection of short stories that reflect the lives of women who live at Fort Hood Army Base in Texas, and are waiting for their men to come home. For those who don’t have the anthology to read from, there are a number of videos on YouTube featuring Fallon and her book. Anyone interested in attending the Zoom conversation can email county librarian, Suzanne Moore, at SMoore@arlibrary.org for an invite. Copies of the Standing Down anthology were purchased with a special LSTA grant to be shared with the Talking Service group and are available for distribution. You may also send an email request to Suzanne if you would like copy of this book.
Although it has been difficult while in the midst of a pandemic situation, the library is still working to gather stories for Volume Three of its Veterans History Project. This issue will place an emphasis on women; those in service, those who served, and those who support our military. Grant funding for this year’s edition must be spent by July, which means our search for stories is really crucial right now. In order to get volume three published in time to bill for the grant’s deadline, we need to have our draft ready by the end of May. We need your stories! If you would like more information or are interested in being a part of this important work, please call the library at 336.846.2041 x111 (24/7 reference line).
Monday, April 27, 2020
April 2020 marks the beginning of the fourth year of operation for Ashe Seed Library, located on the upper level of Ashe County Public Library. The purpose of the seed library is to offer free, open-pollinated seeds to our community in hopes of preserving and enjoying our food heritage far into the future. In this spirit, we encourage folks to save seeds from these plants and either return some to the seed library or use them to continue to cultivate these special, regional varieties.
This year is remarkable in that the library is closed to the public until at least the end of April and services may remain limited during the prime time period for starting seeds in our area. Additionally, we recognize that many seed companies are struggling to keep up with current demand so access to Ashe Seed Library may be one of only a few options for obtaining some of these varieties in 2020.
We would like to offer the opportunity for community members to request a limited number of seeds to be mailed to their homes. Each household may request up to 10 packets of seeds from the list found here: https://bit.ly/ashe-seed-library-inventory
Please email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 336.846.2041 x111 to request your seeds. Please include the following information in your email (or have it ready if you call): the common name of each seed, number of packets of each seed, your full name, and your mailing address.
Once your request is received, a librarian will process your request, ensure that we have the seeds available, and contact you if any substitutions or clarifications are necessary.
Ashe Seed Library is a partnership among Ashe County Public Library, NC Cooperative Extension-Ashe County Center, Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture, ASU's Sustainable Development Department, and our Ashe County community.
In 2020, we are grateful for donations of seeds from High Mowing Seeds, Seed Savers Exchange, Seeds of Resilience Garden (ASU's SD Dept.), NC Cooperative Extension-Ashe County Center (Ashe County Victory Garden), NC Native Plant Society-Blue Ridge Chapter, Seed Programs International, and individuals in our community who diligently saved and donated seeds.
All seeds are offered for educational purposes and may not meet germination or varietal purity standards prescribed by NC seed laws.
Last Tuesday was National Library Worker’s Day and this is the first year in my life as a librarian that the library was closed to the public. When NC Governor Roy Cooper issued a COVID-19 shutdown order, we all began working remotely from home. It seems when weighing the importance of what is necessary and what is not, libraries are listed as ‘non-essential.’ I can definitely understand the danger in staying open amidst a pandemic crisis, especially since libraries are gathering places and house materials shared by a community. Even so while the doors are shut there is still a lot of work going on … SO with a look at what goes on behind the scenes I can’t brag enough on our library’s wonderful staff.
Our librarians have been working to compile a comprehensive guide to informational, educational, and entertainment resources that includes ways to access free ebooks and audiobooks, virtual field trips, crafts, work from home software, and more. Visit the library website at ashelibrary.org and click on the "Stuck at Home" banner to access this wonderful website!
Virtual training opportunities with library associations, Zoom meetings, and teleconferencing are being utilized to keep us all connected from a distance. While we all miss physically interacting with the public there are plenty of things to do remotely. Staff are even organizing and leading programs from home! Check the library’s website for information about joining a virtual Slow Jam (May 2 & 16) and meeting with The Talking Service Book Club (May 8).
Follow Ashe County Public Library on Facebook for the Book-a-day Giveaway and win a book to be mailed to your home. Each contest is posted as an event that begins at 5 pm and ends at 5 pm the following day. To enter, simply answer a simple prompt (past questions include "What's your favorite book and why?" and "What is the most fun you've had while staying at home in April?"). Librarians will choose a winner and request your mailing address. You must be 18 or older to enter and must be an Ashe County resident. We are enjoying this unconventional way of connecting with our community!
Since the library’s temporary closure, total collection inventory is nearly done! This is project would take months during opening hours.
The Youth Services department has been posting interactive programming to engage stay-at-home students with STEAM activities. Check the website every week for a Maker Monday Challenge!
If you haven’t tried the Ashe Library Reading Challenge, it isn’t too late to jump in (also on the library’s website). There is even an ARLY version for young readers. Reading challenges are great ways to discover new books and authors.
Reopening plans are under way and will be implemented in phases as North Carolina begins to lift restrictions. More information will soon be shared in a formal press release. We do want everyone to know that the due date for borrowed materials is extended until May 15 and items returned are quarantined for 72 hours before going back into circulation. We are using our shut-down time to sanitize and organize in efforts to protect the health of our community. Looking forward to seeing everyone again soon!
Monday, April 20, 2020
I probably would have never discovered the book Death and the Dervish by, Mesa Selimovic without the crazy way I developed to help me choose my next read. It's hard to know where to start when you want to read everything! So the process begins by sorting my master to-read list, suggested by the publicized list of books one MUST read before dying, by month of the author's birthday. Within these twelve sub-lists, authors are grouped by their day of birth and a random number generator helps me chose which day to focus on. I then recruit fellow bookish friends, basically anyone who likes to read and discuss literature, to join my book club … 1001 Reading Adventures. Members of my group help with the final decision on our monthly read by voting for their choice of titles, considerably narrowed down, from my master list.
This month's randomly picked date was April 26, and chosen by majority vote was Mesa Selimovic's book Death and the Dervish (published 1966) in celebration of his birthday (b. April 26, 1910). This book isn't included in our library's collection, so plans were to gather and read the book by watching its film version's subtitles. The book was first made into a movie in 1974, and later remade in 2001. Both versions can be viewed free online and include English subtitles. Usually I rent the Blue Ridge Movie Lounge each month as a venue for my book club to meet and watch movies that we compare to our books. When the pandemic closed non-essential businesses, we resorted to a watch-party online and a Zoom meeting for our conversation.
Luckily I was able to secure a book through Amazon, a used copy full of notes and underlined passages made by its previous owner. I can attest that the film follows the written story line fairly close, although viewing Selimovic's story greatly enhanced his book. The scenery in the movie was beautiful and the narrator's memories, when portrayed on screen, helped make connections to his motives easier to understand.
As the story begins, Sheikh Ahmed Nuruddin is trying to find a way to have his brother released from prison. He also doesn't understand why his brother was arrested, and meets unsuccessfully with the judge to make pleas on his brother's behalf. A sheikh ... the dervish (Nuruddin's title) is a religious man belonging to a group whose individuals relinquish themselves to a life of poverty and live peacefully, teaching and following words of the Koran. The dervish becomes a pawn, so to say, in the hands of the judge's daughter. She asks him to speak to her brother Hasan, a friend of his, about giving up rights to the family inheritance before he is disowned by their father. Hasan likes to gamble and drink; he trades cattle and has illicit relationships with various women. Ultimately the dervish thinks that if he convinces Hasan to step down from the family before the judge can disown him, that he can convince the judge to free his brother. This situation is the beginning of the dervish's internal struggle to remain indifferent and have a clean spirit despite the trials of earthly man. As he narrates the story, Nuruddin refers to teachings in the Koran, Arabic holy scriptures, wrestling with his own soul about what to do.
Nuruddin is not only unable to free his brother, but is temporarily locked up himself.
He is eventually freed, but alas his brother is executed. Unlike the dervish's belief in a peaceful life, Nuruddin seeks revenge in the murder of his brother. He learns that accusations against his brother were unjust. That a false interrogation was written before a mock trial and submitted as evidence for justifying an execution. There have also been other past events in Nuruddin's life that left regrets resurfacing in his mind. Choosing the life of a devoted dervish was a conscious effort to deal with his life's disappointments. Now Nuruddin takes another path and comes out on top, presumably through corrupt means, and is elected as a new judge.
And as the story continues, there are a number of twists that bring Nuruddin to find himself in the same position as the previous judge … trying to gain power through deceit. Readers come to realize that Nuruddin is remorseful and feels self-diminished by his actions. Set in the 18th century and under rule of the Ottoman Empire, Nuruddin knows his end is coming at the hands of authorities. His story is an examination of what his life could have been and becomes an explanation, compared to a suicide note.
Selimovic tells Nuruddin's story with such sincerity and upon studying the author's background I learned that parts of his novel were based on events in his real life. Mesa Selimovic was born in Bosina and raised as a Muslim. During the Second World War he was a prisoner for having been part of an anti-fascist demonstration, as a member of the Yugoslav Partisans. His brother was also arrested and later executed without a trial.
I found a video review on YouTube by Nerses Arslanian, a Lebanese reader, and totally agree with his thoughts; Selimovic's writing style though not exactly chronological was hypnotic and captured my mind … “I was interested in every little paragraph.” I really like how books can connect people from around the world and through the Internet. Although delightful to Zoom and YouTube with other readers, I am looking forward to in-person discussions and experiences again soon.
Mesa Selimovic is a revered, and well-loved author in his country. Death and the Dervish gained national attention, translated in several languages and is recognized as his masterpiece. Many critics consider this story as similar to The Trial, by Kafka. I can relate to that, this is definitely a story about the nightmarish world of an isolated and troubled individual.
In closing my thoughts about this recommended read, I must share a sample of Selimovic's words to illustrate the beautiful imagery he paints with his writing.
In the morning I went out into the fields and climbed a hill that was in full bloom. I stood beside a low fruit tree, with my face next to its cluster of flowers, calyxes, leaves, petals - a thousand living wonders ready for insemination. I felt the intoxicating sweetness of that growth, the rush of juices through innumerable, invisible veins, and like the night before I wished that my arms would grow into branches, that the colorless blood of trees would flow into me, that I would bloom and wilt painlessly. And it was just this repetition of my strange desire that convinced me of the weight of my burden.
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” G.K. Chesterton
The public library is an example of society’s best. Libraries provide the energy that fuels imaginations, opens windows to the world, and inspires us to explore, achieve, and contribute to improving our quality of life. Volunteerism, philanthropy, and generosity, are all at the heart of what libraries do. Libraries are here to share books and ideas, as well as answers to questions. And we are able to continue all of our programs and services because people donate their time, talents, and money in so many ways.
We have volunteers of all ages who give their time to help keep our shelves organized, neat, and tidy, or help in prepping materials and crafts for children’s programs. We have volunteers who visit our “library twigs” each month to freshen the inventory and leave library event calendars. Others assist with changing the stories at our county park’s Story Walk when needed.
Our entire programming budget is supported through our Friends and their fundraising efforts. With an ongoing used-book sale and other events through the year, they support our services to the community in ways beyond measure. They are always happy to welcome new “Friends” to our community.
We also have those who donate to our library endowment according to their means. Distributions from the library’s endowment fund help keep our technology and digital resources up-to-date in order to meet the needs of our community.
Our Board of Trustees all donate their time and expertise to ensure that our policies are current and our budget is sound. They set our mission. They ensure that our library is meeting the needs of the whole community. The Ashe County Public Library continues to rely on their strength and persistence.
Ashe County Government and the Town of West Jefferson are supportive and ready partners. We appreciate our county commissioners for funding the library’s operational budget needs. Thank you again, from staff and patrons, for collaborative efforts of the county and town for our parking expansion. Also, without the donation of time and talents of John Maddox for creating the design and Kevin Nichols for drafting the engineer’s plan, this project would not have been possible.
We have many community partners who share resources, offer outreach opportunities, and play a big part in our success. Your advocacy is so appreciated. And of course, we love our library patrons who check out books, use our digital resources and other databases, participate in book discussion groups, and attend programs and workshops. This community is the heart of our library!
We at Ashe County Public Library would like to express heartfelt gratitude and thanks to everyone for their generous support.
The library will be close early (at noon) on December 13 for staff training and also early (at 5:00 p.m.) on New Year’s Eve. The library will be closed from December 24 – 26 for Christmas and on January 1, 2020 for New Year’s Day.
FOOD FOR FINES WEEK will be held from December 2 – 7. This week allows a chance to pay off late fees by donating non-perishable food. Each item of undamaged, in-date, non-perishable for is equal to $1. Items donated do not count toward damaged or lost items. All items collected will go to our county’s Meals on Wheels program. Food can also be donated even if you don’t owe any late fees.
· Join us for Ornamentality between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on December 7. Yes, adults can also make crafts, enjoy holiday music, and have a cup of hot chocolate.! The adult version of this event takes place on the Upper Level of the library.
- Take a break from the holiday hustle, and join us for a cuppa, a little something sweet, a lovely chat, holiday music, and more at the library’s Holiday Tea from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on December 14.
- Stop in for a Holiday Singalong from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. on December 21. Join our in-house act, The Molasses Jam Band, as they play and sing holiday favorites.
- The Annual Reading Challenge Wrap-up / Kick-off takes place at 5:00 on January 2. If you participated in our 2019 Reading Challenge, or if you want to learn about what we have planned for the 202 Challenge, please join us! Play games for the literary minded, check out recommendations from this year’s challenge, and get a guided virtual tour of the new challenge. Participants in the 2019 Reading Challenge are eligible to win prizes.
· Get Crafty meets at 10 a.m. on December 21 for crocheting and knitting. Instruction available for beginners and project materials are provided.
· The Community Drum Circle meets at 5:30 p.m. on December 19. Join the celebration of drums, while exploring the soul and spirit of music!
· Mountain Music Slow Jam meets from 3:00-5:00 p.m. on December 7. in the downstairs meeting room. Songs are explained as to timing, breaks, etc… and played in slow time. Designed for beginners, all skill levels are welcome.
- Story Time for ages 3 & up is at 10:30 a.m. every Thursday.
- Tot Time for 2-3 year olds is at 10:30 a.m. every Wednesday. Come out and have fun learning the alphabet with stories and songs.
- “Baby Bounce” is at 10:30 a.m. every Friday. This is short program for infants and babies will includes finger plays, songs, rhymes, and a book or two.
- The Alternate Ending Book Club is for ages 7 – 12 and takes place at 4:00 p.m. on December 3.
- Dr. Suess’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on December 17. Sigmon Theatrical presents a live show where you can meet and greet the Grinch, Max, and Cindy-Low-Who. We promise your heart will grow three sizes!
- Journey on the Express Train to the North Pole will be held at 11:00 a.m. on December 21. This holiday event will feature an interactive movie viewing, games, and a hot chocolate bar!
- Read for 20 minutes a day during winter break for the Kids Winter Break Reading Challenge. You’ll earn a book and a prize from the library. Miss a day? That’s okay. Just read five hours total. Read more than five hours to get a special prize!
· T for Teen – Gamers Unite! Meet-up at 4:00 p.m. on December 3. Xbox360 and laptops available for teen gaming.
· Board Game Café is open at 4:00 p.m. on December 10. Come and make some friends! Play a variety of board games and enjoy coffee and sweet treats.
· Open Studio meets at 4:00 p.m. on December 17. Join us for a wide range of creative crafts and projects.
· Teen New Year’s Party is scheduled from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. on December 31.
· Talking Service Book Club meets at 10:00 a.m. on December 13. The meeting begins with a discussion of one or more readings from Standing Down: From Warrior to Civilian, a collection of works ranging from Homer’s Iliad to recent memoirs by veterans of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan.
· Brouhaha Book Club meets at 5:30 p.m. on December 30 at Boondocks.
· For all your tech troubles, book and appointment with our friendly reference librarians. Call 336.846.2041 x111.
· Yoga Club meets in the library’s downstairs meeting room at 5:30 p.m. on Mondays.
· Life with Children meets at 9:45 a.m. on December 10. This program welcomes parents and caregivers of young children for practical parenting tips and discussion, light refreshments, and time to enjoy the companionship of other who are raising the next generation. Registration is required. Call the library to sign-up: 336.846.2041 x111