An animal, I said, when the tiller turned up bones.
—-Juliana Gray, After a Heartless Winter
Read it here:
from 100 Word Story
“When I open them, most of the books have the smell of an earlier time leaking out between the pages – a special odor of the knowledge and emotions that for ages have been calmly resting between the covers. Breathing it in, I glance through a few pages before returning each book to its shelf.”
― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
Oblique Strategy: Distorting time
I was in a bookstore once, looking around. This was one of the big chain bookstores, two stories high, the kind that have pretty much been driven out of business by Amazon. Few people were buying, but the store was littered with folks sitting around reading stuff from the shelves.
I thought to myself, “I wish they had a place like this, like a bookstore, but instead of selling the books, they would simply let you read them.” In a flash, of course, I realized that these places did exist. I was thinking of a library.
My only problem with the library is the intense impression that there is an overload of knowledge bearing down on me, almost suffocating me. I sit at the little table, maybe with my laptop, with my pitiful little pile of books – trying to decide which to read right then, which to take home. I look around and there are the miles of shelves groaning with tomes. It intimidates me. Somewhere out there is a practically infinite amount of knowledge that I simply can’t survive without. But where is it? Which books do I need, rather than want?
So many books. So little time.
“And now, my poor old woman, why are you crying so bitterly? It is autumn. The leaves are falling from the trees like burning tears- the wind howls. Why must you mimic them?”
― Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan
Oblique Strategy: Revaluation (a warm feeling)
The trees along my drive to work have exploded into flame.
Their conflagration tinted according to their species from a sodium flame yellow, through orange, on to a deep blazing crimson.
Except for the cemetery, monocultured with live oaks, all their usual dark spinach.
I knew someone once, a long, long time ago. She said she liked the fall better than the spring. She liked the sense of foreboding, the knowledge that a cold storm was coming – the excitement of onrushing doom.
It took me decades to understand what she was talking about and how important it was.
“Maybe it’s wrong when we remember breakthroughs to our own being as something that occurs in discrete, extraordinary moments. Maybe falling in love, the piercing knowledge that we ourselves will someday die, and the love of snow are in reality not some sudden events; maybe they were always present. Maybe they never completely vanish, either.”
― Peter Høeg, Smilla’s Sense of Snow
“Doesn’t it seem as though her heart were a green flame? Perhaps it’s the cold green heart of a small green snake, with a minute flaw in it, the kind of small green snake that slithers from branch to branch in the jungle, passing itself off as a vine. What’s more, perhaps when she gave me the ring with such a gentle, loving expression, she wanted me to draw such a meaning from it some day.”
― Yukio Mishima, Spring Snow
“ice contains no future , just the past, sealed away. As if they’re alive, everything in the world is sealed up inside, clear and distinct. Ice can preserve all kinds of things that way- cleanly, clearly. That’s the essence of ice, the role it plays.”
― Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman
I have always enjoyed the slightly dated but still beautiful fountain at Richardson City Hall, behind the library. It, for example, was one of the destinations on the famous Richardson Sculpture Bicycle Photo Scavenger Hunt.
Today, I dropped some books off at the library after work, and noticed the fountain had a different look about it.