Reading is Like Flying in Your Mind

In celebration of all the teachers returning to school, and all of the teachers who teach with so much love and joy, thank you! 

I recently rewatched Mr. Rogers receiving his Lifetime Achievement Emmy award. You can watch HERE if you haven’t seen it, or just want to rewatch it. 

In it, he asks that you close your eyes and think of a person who has helped you become who you are.

He says, “We’ll take 10 seconds, I’ll watch the time.” 

I cry every time. 

My tears are full of love and emotional memories of all the people who have helped me become me

One of the primary people who helped me become who I am, was my first grade teacher, Mrs. Gooler. 

She awakened a fierce love of reading in me, by daring everyone in the class to read a book a day for a year, and that whoever did that and filled in a sheet about every book, would win a clock. 

I became obsessed with winning that clock, and did so with great glee. She celebrated reading in her class in all sorts of other ways too. 

My mom also read to me, and with me, all the time, and I felt so safe in her arms, and in the pages of books. Through the reading of all those books, I became myself. 

To this day, I read voluminously every day, and take out dozens of books at a time from the library. 

Truly, reading is like Flying in Your Mind. 

This is an image of a poster I created in 1995 to support the San Francisco Public Libraries. You can see some of my favorite authors and bookstores in the borders. 

Who helped you become you? Let me know. 

Close your eyes and take 10 seconds, I’ll watch the time…

Let me know what you’re loving reading~ 

Here’s a completely random and happy list of favorite books I’ve read recently, or am rereading with utter delight:  

  • City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert 
  • How to Walk Away by Katherine Center 
  • My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell 
  • Into the Magic Shop by James R. Doty
  • Becoming Supernatural by Dr. Joe Dispenza 
  • Blessed Are the Weird by Jacob Nordby 
  • Unattended Sorrow by Stephen Levine 





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  1. Cathy

    Love your newsletter about reading and the people who have influenced our lives! Im reading(I have tons of books lined up waiting):
    You Are the Universe by Deepak Chopra
    Why I Wake Early by Mary Oliver
    Beauty by John O’Donohue
    The World Will Follow Joy by Alice Walker
    The Enchanted Life by Sharon Blackie

  2. Barbie Goodwin Langan

    I love the question ! Many, many people have helped me become who I am today.
    One of these “helpers”was my 7th grade friend’s mom, Viola Boll, who was willing to be the 4-H adult Leader for those of us that wanted to learn to sew.
    My grandmother had just given me her 1935 Singer sewing machine. But Gram lived in the Chicago area and we lived in Michigan… and my mother had never learned to sew.
    Mrs Boll was willing and she patiently coached me through project after project. I ripped out a lot of mistakes ! As a senior in high school , I made my own strapless prom dress, to the amazement of all ! One of my jobs years later was sewing draperies for a commercial workroom. I also made military uniforms and dresses for re-created 18th century re-enactment group that my family participated in for many years.
    I have had a lifetime of joy sewing because Viola Boll was willing to spend time being my teacher.


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