Ode to Book Club and its “Beauties” by Rachel Beadle

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17304053The List of My Desires

I chose this book for our final book club meet in 2013 for two reasons: it was slim read and everyone is busy leading up to Christmas; and I wanted a book that would open up a messy debate over dinner and drinks. I wanted to know what my friends would do if they ever won an obscene amount of money in the lottery, just like the book’s protagonist Jocelyne. It was a wonderful night of sharing, laughter, secrets and revelations. There might have been a few wines involved.

One of our beautiful book clubbers, Rachel Beadle, then penned this poem for us while flying to the Dolomites to ski and escape the infernal heat of north-west Australia at Christmas. Yes, we were jealous too! It is an ode to book club, a summary of the books we tackled and the way they made her feel – all inspired by The List of My Desires. She has gracefully allowed me to share her words. I love book clubs!

Praise to book club every month
And how it warms my soul 
The fresh-baked smell of pages new
Of stories to unfold
Words that wrap me up 
And whisk me off to far off worlds
A remedy, sweet comfort
As fantasy unfurls
A casual vacancy stole my year
To help Broome gymnasts fly
The Ask for funding sport
Became my quest and my loud cry
We all need a little project
Rosie or otherwise
To nurture mind, soul, esteem
To make us more the wise
And we’re all chasing a little gold
A place where the water is wide
Trying to carve a different wave
A more exciting ride
Like Mrs Queen, I sometimes felt
Like jumping on a train
Or disappearing out a window
Just to change the picture frame
Thoughts stretched to Henrietta
And her strange immortal life
And a Gilgamesh-type journey
Seeking eternal afterlife
Now I reflect on all that I am
And realise life is so good
I’m already blessed with 6 years more
Than one of my sisterhood
So thank God for the light between oceans
For our monthly book club nights
For wine, friendships, healthy debates
And a space to find respite
Eleven girls, we gathered round
A table at 18 degrees
Revealed our dreams, beliefs, our fears
With a rawness and such ease
I was moved to glimpse the inner soul
Of each and every friend
Fighting her own battle
But strong round every bend
To win the lotto and cash the cheque
Or hide it in a shoe
Who can say what’s right or wrong
No one on earth but you
The list of my desires is long
But if it were just three
I’d wish for nothing more in life
Than truth, love, integrity.

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