Life Breaks In
A Mood Almanack
Some books start at point A, take you by the hand, and carefully walk you to point B, and on and on.
This is not one of those books. This book is about mood, and how it works in and with us as complicated, imperfectly self-knowing beings existing in a world that impinges and infringes on us, but also regularly suffuses us with beauty and joy and wonder. You don’t write that book as a linear progression—you write it as a living, breathing, richly associative, and, crucially, active, investigation. Or at least you do if you’re as smart and inventive as Mary Cappello.
What is a mood? How do we think about and understand and describe moods and their endless shadings? What do they do to and for us, and how can we actively generate or alter them? These are all questions Cappello takes up as she explores mood in all its manifestations: we travel with her from the childhood tables of “arts and crafts” to mood rooms and reading rooms, forgotten natural history museums and 3-D View-Master fairytale tableaux; from the shifting palette of clouds and weather to the music that defines us and the voices that carry us. The result is a book as brilliantly unclassifiable as mood itself, blue and green and bright and beautiful, funny and sympathetic, as powerfully investigative as it is richly contemplative.
“I’m one of those people who mistrusts a really good mood,” Cappello writes early on. If that made you nod in recognition, well, maybe you’re one of Mary Cappello’s people; you owe it to yourself to crack Life Breaks In and see for sure.
Mood of Perfect Kinship
Of Clouds and Moods
Sonophoto: Boy Screaming
Is It Possible to Die of a Feeling?
The Flower Inclines toward Blue
They’re Playing Our Song
In a Studious Mood
Life Breaks In
Miniature Verandas and Voluminous Velvet Forms
Synesthesia for Orphaned Boys
The Tic-Tic-Tic of a Dime Hitting the Floor
The Sounds That Seals Make
The Exciting or Opiatic Effect of Certain Words
Arrangement for Voice and Interiors
Notes and Sources
Playlist of Music or Sound Works (With Links to YouTube Recordings)
Photo Credits and Content Descriptions