I want this blog to be about books. Simply that, books I’ve read and loved, and books I’ve read and hated. Books I’ve read and been entirely indifferent about.
I’m pretty sure this is the fourth or fifth time I’ve tried to write this opening, and every time I write it and reread it I’m never happy with it. For a blog about books it feels like this needs to be eloquently written, with impeccable grammar and the utmost grace, but truth be told, I’m no author and I always hated my literary analysis classes. To pump out a critical and detached report on the books I’ve read is the total opposite of my goal. I want to write these “reviews”, for lack of a better word, with all the emotion the book gave me. A summery without personal opinion is not one I want to read.
Books and I have had a lengthy relationship. First as an escape from childhood bullies, seeking out beautifully illustrated tomes that would draw me in visually then transport me with words as I cowered among the shelves. Then as I grew older, as an escape from the every day doldrums that inevitably follow each of us as we fall into routine. Slowly at first, and then more rapidly, these magical vessels for the imagination have made their way into my home and into my heart. My small collection has turned into something akin to a library. I smile every time I move, friends and family heaving and huffing, asking me breathlessly, “What are in these rubbermaids?”, I grin and huff right back, “Just some of my books.” They take up the most space, have absorbed more of my money and occupy more of my time then any other pursuit I have. Which is why I want to dedicate a blog to the adventures I encounter between the pages.
The name of the blog may mean nothing to most people, but it means the world to me. It is a line from one favorite books, from one of my favorite authors, and it marks the first time a book ever made me cry. I had read the first and second book in the series when I was in junior high (out of order I might add), and was very excited when I found the two of them being sold in my local grocery store years later. Low and behold there lay a third book, not new by any means, simply ignored by the ignorance of youth, passed by because I simply hadn’t known to check for more books in a series. Needless to say I snatched all three up and went home to immerse myself. I felt no need to read the first two books, the characters were as familiar to me as if I had read them only hours before. I was disappointed as I read. Where were my characters? Where was the familiar landscape? The messa? The valley and its ring of impassable mountains? But knowing my author, and trusting her love for own creation I kept on. Slowly the old palet returned, new names, new faces, but the same world.
And as we wandered out of the valley, an old friend; but an old friend alone. Mechanical, and immortal, we see Guardian stoic among the bamboo, frozen in time. We pass him, move among the stalks, only to hear a voice creaky and disused “Olwen, is that you?”, we reply in fear ” Who spoke? Where are you?” The voice answers back, full of rust and utter sorrow “You are not Olwen. You are not Olwen!” Not alone in the forest of bamboo, we pan to a grave. The grave of the only thing that gave him meaning, the child grown into a woman, aged unto death, Olwen Pendennis. And inscribed in the stone, words to break a heart, “Where you go I may not follow” That simple passage, the mixture of memory and emotion mingled so delicately together moved me to tears. I couldn’t put it to words, couldn’t even properly understand why, but my heart broke and melted right out my eyes.
Thats what a good book should do, it should move you. It doesn’t have to make you cry, its only happend to me twice, it just has to make you feel something. I’ve yelled at books and had to put them down for a time. I’ve laughed and books and startled friends, family and pets. I’ve been scared by books and needed to leave the light on to sleep. And its these movements, these moments that I want to call into existence here.
Please join me for the journey.