Saturday, June 18, 2016
When you live, as I do, in a small (not Tiny) house and when you love collecting stuff, as I do, sometimes moving one thing about means that you also have to move another. And that's when you're likely to find nice surprises round every corner.
Usually I don't look at this particular corner of my study in quite this way but today I was trading bookshelves because of the closet clearing I'm working on. (Sorry, this odd statement can only make sense to me but really: Reasons. Sensible ones.) And the corner makes me smile. Books about quilts. Books about gardening. Books about herbs. Books about places that I long to visit but likely never will: The Lost Gardens of Heligan. Calke Abbey. The Bach Centre Mount Vernon (no, not that Bach nor that Mount Vernon either--this was the home of a homeopathic doctor who pioneered Flower Remedies ). Look up those places online, maybe you'll be charmed by them, too.
And I smiled, too, at the aluminum "sword" my stepdad made for me when I masqueraded as Le Dame du Lac so I could earn my grade in a graduate school symposium.
It's a good corner.
I love books, always have. The ability to read is precious. Perhaps I realize that more than most folks do because, when I was in graduate school (right after that Medieval studies symposium), I lost the ability to read. Simply forgot how to do so. Couldn't even decipher a stop sign. My disability is elusive--hard to quantify or explain, provable only by differential diagnosis--but the results have been painful enough. I fought hard alone to learn to read again--checking large print books out of the library, working stacks of word searches and crossword puzzles.
More than half a lifetime later, I still work hard at reading. It's easier to deal with words on a computer screen with the font blown up large and because there's light behind the text. The printed page is more difficult--letters sometimes crawl over the page like so many snakes on the heads of a dozen Medusas; they just won't hold still. Sometimes I read fairly easily but for the past several months reading books has been next to impossible. I have books I want to read--new topics I want to explore and old subjects I long to re-visit--so I'll keep working at it. It's worth the effort.
Life is really just as good as we choose to make it, and that can be very, very good indeed. Especially when you're in a corner with lots of books to inspire and intrigue.