In 2015 while visiting Toronto, I stumbled on the Aga Khan Museum and saw some incredible Islamic books and artwork. One of the items I saw was the Persian version of The Wonders of Creation and the Oddities of What Exists by Zakariya Qazvini. This work is also known as the Cosmography of Qazvini or The Marvels and Oddities of Life or Marvels of creatures and strange things existing. Fast forward to 2019 and I opened up the digital ARC of Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali so I can review it over on Rich in Color (thanks Salaam Reads!). This is an awesome book and you will want to get it as soon as possible. The main characters both keep journals about Marvels and Oddities. This sounded familiar to me. I looked up the title and found a digital copy via Cambridge here - quick go look. I'll wait.
When I saw the cover, my trip to Toronto immediately popped into my mind. The treasure hunt began browsing through digital photos from my trip. Yes indeed, there were reasons for this ringing a bell. I have stood in front of a copy from the 16th century. Cool.
Taking note of wonders and oddities seems like a good plan. S.K. Ali tried it out years ago and left us a sample. What a fun idea. A while back Ruth Ayers got quite a few bloggers in the habit of writing about our weekly celebrations, but we haven't done that for many months. I kind of miss it. I think I will try my hand at Marvels and Oddities for a few weeks and see how that goes. It reminds me of the book The Sense of Wonder by Rachel Carson. Keeping ourselves open to the wonders and of course the oddities around us can help us live more fully and appreciate the world around us.
So here are my recent Marvels and Oddities. I like that there are more Marvels than Oddities, but this week's oddities were tough ones.
- A glowing, neon green object hurtled down from the sky just at the moment when my dog went outside before bedtime. What a treat that we went outside at just the right time to catch that light show.
- A gigantic moon glowing through the bare branches of a tree smiled at me.
- The soothing sound of our wind chimes.
- Buds bursting out on the bare tree branches.
- Deep pink tulips blooming in spite of the snow.
- Hearing five or more different birdsong at the same time from my back porch.
- Finding poetry with beautiful combinations of words that ping around in my heart.
- The peace that comes when one is near water.
- The emotions that arrive along with my card returned to sender (me) after my Gram's death.
- The frustration and anger inside a young child that bursts out in profanity and destruction of surrounding things and cannot be easily soothed or sorted.
- The hatred that leads to harming people in a sacred space.
- People telling other U.S. citizens to "go back to their own country" based on the language they hear, accents, religion, physical appearance, clothing, or other ridiculous methods and treating them as inferiors.
I hope you are able to find many Marvels this week and have the time to appreciate them. I also hope that if you have oddities, they are the amusing and strange type and not the more unhappy kind.