To hold an old book
soft lettering of a title almost obliterated by age
to feel its cover
to smell its smell
to turn the pages, dry and stiff
so lovely - faded and worn
~ Beulah Peyton Bouzane
By now you may have gathered that I am a bit of a book collector and my shelves are overflowing.
If you recall, in my last blog I went in quest of that book "Be Here Now" by Ram Dass. I made a special trip to Chapters to search it out. Found it!
This particular book is definitely different. Perhaps not quite a gem but it took me by surprise. Next time you are in a book store, take a look. You'll understand what I mean. Perhaps someday it will be part of my collection - just because it is different. Perhaps!
I Blamed It On Dragon Flies
Oh the fun you can have when you open your mind to new things! It can be just an idea, or a new book, a spice you've never used before, a new design, a different hobby or or or ... And when that happens, you're likely to become just a little distracted - right?
Well that day it was about dragon flies. I was painting wine glasses and got stuck on rocking chairs and anchors when two of my sisters suggested I do dragon flies because people love dragon flies. Really? I was totally surprised as I am 'people' and I honestly can't recall ever being in love with a dragon fly. Actually, I had never really given them much thought at all. Truth be told, I could not really remember what a dragon fly looked liked so I did exactly what came to mind. I decided to paint a butterfly.
There were a number of things going on that day. There were the wood plaques that needed some work, sketches half finished and, boring as it seemed at the time, it was laundry day. I was also intent on getting in some real exercise as the winter weather had rounded out the waistline and stiffened up the joints. The plan was to 'run the stairs'. My painting room, being in the basement, was the perfect location as it meant trips up and down during the course of events - coffee breaks, meal times, answering the phone, working in the office, painting, doing laundry.
The plaques were painted and I was ready to get started on the butterfly. The original would be a painting Kaitlyn, my granddaughter, had done the year before. I love her art work so it would serve as the perfect model. It was up the stairs to my office to print a copy. It seemed like forever since I had a coffee so I stopped to make one - Hazelnut flavour - steaming hot and delicious. Then I fired up the computer, turned on the printer, found the picture I needed and set the print command. I stopped to google 'dragon flies'. Gosh, but they were kind of pretty.
It was then that I remembered the laundry. Coffee in hand, I darted in the laundry room to get the first load of clothes underway. It was the whites, of course. Don't you always start with the whites? There was a beautiful white linen tablecloth, a set of white bed sheets, white towels and face clothes. I heard the ding and beep of the printer - out of paper. In went the detergent and off I went to load the paper. Another run downstairs, the glass prepared and brush in hand, I was armed and ready. It was then I remembered the coffee!
Up to the laundry room I went, running the stairs (again) and in the doorway, I stopped in mid stride. Oh NO! The detergent cup was full. The coffee cup was empty.
An hour and a half later the stains were gone and the washer was set to wash.
Naturally, I blamed it all on the dragon flies but seriously ... do you remember my story "Somebody Shouts Squirrel".
I Was Even Rather Snooty About It
Okay so I've been reading old children's books over the past month. I love reading and I love studying. I thought I had read or, at the very least knew, all the classics. Actually, I was even rather snooty about it. But I was rong.
Remember Winnie the Pooh? In one part, Rabbit describes the situation with Owl who liked to study knowledge for the sake of knowledge:
... you can't help respecting anybody who can spell Tuesday, even if he doesn't spell it right; but spelling isn't everything. There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn't count.
Don't ever underestimate the wisdom in some of those writings. Perhaps there are days when you are just like Owl and spelling Tuesday simply doesn't count.
Over the Easter weekend my grandson introduced me to this wonderful book, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (1961). It proved to be a classic I had never read.
Nicholas had read it last Fall sometime and had thought right away that it would be a book that I would enjoy. It was the best book he'd ever read he told me. He borrowed it from the school library during the Easter break and I found it on my pillow on Saturday morning.
It may be a children's book but I think everybody should read it. What a brilliant piece of writing! I laughed my way through from cover to cover and could not put it down until it was finished. The imagination and play on words is absolutely amazing.
If you haven't read it, you really should. And, being a bit of a collector, I won't be satisfied until I have a copy in my library.
Oh and I Almost Forgot
Have you read Max Eisen's book, By Chance Alone? It is heavy duty reading - not quite Pooh or The Phantom Tollbooth - but a MUST read. I was sitting in my vehicle outside Walmart listening to CBC (holding my breath). Waiting for that final selection for Canada Reads 2019 Award seemed like forever. Then the announcement was made. I squealed. I laughed. I cried. Perfect selection! The right choice!
© 2019 Beulah Peyton Bouzane. All Rights Reserved.