Riding Metro North. Back, With My Narcotic.

train

You’ve proven yourself wrong again. You thought you found it.

Peace in fragments.

Years with your obsession: chewing on snippets of poems, skimming blog posts, ripping through headlines looking for morsels, and stacks of the partially read and unfinished hanging on your conscience.

No rhythm. No groove.  A Cow, standing in place, regurgitating partially digested food.

Me and Mick:

I can’t get no satisfaction, I can’t get no satisfaction
‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can’t get no, I can’t get no…

There’s no peace in fragments.

But, I’ve found what was lost.

Books.

I’m sitting alone in a three-seater. A Quiet Car. First train, the 5:01 am to Grand Central. Morning papers read. Presentation prep for morning meeting is complete.  Head, clear.  Visibility, miles.

And I’m swept away for the next 34 minutes.  Me with Kyo, in her head.

I get off the train and note my calm, the slow breathing, and others racing for the exits.

I’ve come Home.

I escaped…I time-traveled and shape-shifted. I lived in the Jurassic past and the atomic future. I lived in Macondo and the Republic of San Lorenzo. I lived as a prairie girl and a French detective. I lived in dire Dickensian poverty and great dynastic wealth. Books were my steadiest companions. When I ran out, I went downtown to Shinjuku and bought Japanese novels in translation. Soseki. Tanizaki. Oe. My books formed a nest around me on the tatami mat, right near my aunt’s Buddhist altar. A waft of sandalwood as the incense sticks burned. They were my life and narcotic…How distinctly, in after years, one remembers the feel of a favorite book, the typography, the binding, the illustrations, and so on. How easily one can localize the time and place of a first reading. Some books are associated with illness, some with bad weather, some with punishment, some with reward. . . . These readings are distinctly ‘events’ in one’s life.”… Susan Sontag, remarking in one of her journals on her inability to stop reading, even in the face of her terminal illness, wrote: “I can’t stop reading. . . . I’m sucking on a thousand straws.” I know that feeling of bottomless hunger for words…

~ Kyo Maclear, Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation 


Notes:

Comments

  1. Reblogged this on O LADO ESCURO DA LUA.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. yes, books. the ever-vigilant paper and ink that bring us back to ourselves and an unlimited beyond.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The paper sanctuary.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes…there is my peace, my haven and my trip of a thousand dreams. Enjoy.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. “Some books are associated with illness, some with bad weather, some with punishment, some with reward. . . . ” Oh how true this is…. As a ‘geeky’ kid, books were my refuge, my escape, my companions. I shudder to think what my life would have been like without them…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Books – other worlds, other knowings. This post brought back a memory long-forgotten. As a pre-teen or tween, don’t know for sure, my mother gave me the gift of letting me join a book-of-the-month club. And it was such a precious gift, only fully realized and appreciated later, when I was old enough to realize how budget-tight our family was during those years. My heart is so full and grateful thinking about that now.
    And I’m happy for you, Dave, for your home-coming. Hoping we’ll hear more about that.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Morsels can never satisfy hunger. I’m glad you’re eating properly now 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. There are voices in every book. When they speak to us, some are worth listening, others not so much, but when they do, we never forget them, like friends we have known forever. Great Post 💛

    Liked by 1 person

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