Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I get by with a little help...

I definitely benefit from the sagacity and patience of human friends, but I was really talking about…BOOKS. Because what writer doesn’t consider those cardboard-covered missives among their dearest advisors, a most trusted source of solace, entertainment, and yes—friendship!

This week I’m blogging about a small matter, but one that looms large for me. I’m having some SHELVES put in. We moved to our home just over a year ago and because this house does not have a separate office as the last one did, most of our books went into boxes, banished to the attic. Oh, how I have pined over them! How many times did I look to the meager shelf I do keep by my desk, to share a knowing glance with one of my friends, or even to lift him/her from the shelf and flip tenderly through the pages? How many times did I strain my mind for a quote, or wonder about that obscure book, you know, the one by the Australian writer, what was the name of it? And I would picture them, lined up fearfully in their dusty albeit cozy alcove, wondering when they’d see the light of day and of course, me.

Here is the wall, pre-shelved.  A perfect wall for bookshelves, the contractor said, while I nodded and felt ridiculously proud of myself.  (For those who think he said this out of pure salesmanship, I respond:  You weren’t there.  You didn’t hear the sincerity in his voice.)

I do have some books around, of course. The picture above shows one of several “staging areas” around our room, formed in anticipation of THE SHELVES. Mostly things I’ve read recently, reference books, things on the “to read” pile. Because there’s much to decide in terms of preparation for placement on THE SHELVES. Fiction in alphabetical order by author, of course, but Poetry by Religion or in with the Fiction? Philosophy with History or next to Religion (and thereby, close neighbor to Poetry)? Everything on its own shelf???

Installation date, next Tuesday. Stay tuned for more on this exciting process.


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"As soon as we express something, we devalue it strangely. We believe ourselves to have dived down into the depths of the abyss, and when we once again reach the surface, the drops of water on our pale fingertips no longer resemble the ocean from which they came...Nevertheless, the treasure shimmers in the darkness unchanged." ---Franz Kafka