It’s interesting to find out what’s on a bookseller’s bedside table. Laura Weeks, owner of Lorelei Books in Vicksburg, is in a creative frame of mind. That’s why she has “The Paper Garden: An Artist Begins Her Life’s Work at 72” by Molly Peacock among her bedside reading material.
“Sometimes it seems like anything and everything is an obstacle to creativity,” Weeks said. “The recession is a real humdinger of an obstacle. Given the latest jobless report, you probably feel lucky to have a day job. So go to work, but don’t stop creating. Live to create and keep reading because good books are a tonic to creators.”
This book is also an inspiration for the idea that it’s never too late to discover your talent and passion for creativity. In her book, Peacock gracefully interweaves memoir with the biography of Mary Delany who saw a petal drop from a geranium in the summer of 1772 in England. Delany was inspired to create by that simple petal and picked up her scissors and cut out a paper replica of the petal, thus inventing the art of collage.
During the next 10 years, Delany completed nearly 1,000 cut-paper botanicals so accurate that botanists still refer to them. The meticulously cut-paper flowers were begun when Delany was 72 years of age. The collection is now housed in the British Museum
Peacock is an award-winning poet with six published volumes. Her poetry also appears in numerous magazines. As a poet/biographer, she uses close-ups of Delany’s brilliant collages in the book to track her extraordinary life. At the same time, Peacock, a resident of Toronto, Canada, confronts her own aging and gives her readers a blueprint for late-life flexibility.
“Peacock’s absorbing biography acknowledges the creative potential in all of us, and that it’s never too late to tap into it,” Weeks said.
— Lynn Lofton, firstname.lastname@example.org