A quote for this year’s Labor Day post fell into my lap this morning. It comes from a review of an old’s children’s book, The Philharmonic Gets Dressed by Karla Kuskin. The review is by another book blogger, Jane Psmith of Mr. and Mrs. Psmith’s Bookshelf.
So, yes, I cry when I read this book, because it’s about what it means to be a grown-up. It’s about what it means to be human. Yes, you (really, you!) can go out into the cold and the dark. You can force entropy back just a little. You can make something great — and done in the service of greatness, even the small, careful, everyday things begin to glow with its reflected light. So what if the symphony turns back into black notes on a white page when you stop playing? God put you on this earth to create your own little pool of light and order, to take Nature’s form-giving fire for your own, to work not because it’s how you get paid but because it’s how you leave your mark. I’ve read a great many books lately about how we do that, but this picture book is one of the very few that gives the why. Beautifully.
Another book for today: A History of America in Ten Strikes by Erik Loomis:
This book focuses on ten major strikes in American history to tell the story of the United States through an emphasis on class and worker struggle. Combined, they weave a tale of a nation that promised life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but that routinely denied that to workers, whether slave or free, men or women, black or white. They tell a story of nation divided by race, gender, and national origin, as well as by class. They place work at the center of American history. This book sees the struggles for the dignity of workers, the rights of people of color, and the need to fight racism, misogyny, and homophobia as part of the same struggle.