December 12, 2014

Alone With the Books - Night One (12/9/14)

I am so jealous of people who take the time to reflect.

Last year, I declared that I *would* reflect on two momentous endings in my life, one much more personal and significant than the other, but both with the potential to provide insight.

And here I am, almost a year later, without much to show for my declaration. I scribbled down a few thoughts here and there on scraps of paper that are now at undefined coordinates.

But tonight I am alone with the books.

As we pack up my mom's condo, and throughout the last year whenever we discussed the prospect of packing it up, discussion always comes around to the books.

It is kind of heart-wrenching to think of disseminating the books. There are thousands of them and so many of them have a story to tell.

My mom was a life-long scholar. Her collection spans the ebbs and flows of the tides of her interests. Romantic poetry, visual arts, philosophy, Jungian psychology, Eastern mysticism, counseling psychology, feminism, modern poetry, Buddhism, and above all William Blake. Always and forever, Blake.

And tonight, when I look at certain books, memories flood back. Many of these books were shelved in my father's study 45 years ago. I would sit on the carpet on the floor and ponder them, deciding what I might want to read. That is how I came to read, at a rather tender age, volumes such as The Bell Jar, The Turn of the Screw, The Hobbit, The Wizard of Earthsea. When I look at the color of the book jacket of The Complete Poems of Robert Frost, I am a child again.

If I allow the books to slip away, does my childhood slip away? Do I dishonor my mother and the supreme reverence she afforded her library?