Friday, August 10, 2012
Shall I Get Rid of Some of My Books?
Now heaven help me, I looked in my bookcase for something I might move out of my house, and didn't I start READING the cursed addictive things! A booklet called "Naming: poems by 8 women," published in Oregon in 1976, fell open at "I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO MARRY AN ARTIST," by Carol Erdman. The writer daydreams of living in creative clutter, "oozing rainbows through the honeymud between our toes." I have to keep that, I haven't read all the poems yet. I might want to read them again. Then I wondered if I really need books acquired when I was researching background for writing a short story or child's book about my mother's childhood in Muinish, in Galway Bay. I pulled out "Our Like Will Not Be There Again," a collection of essays on interviews of older people in the West of Ireland, by Lawrence Millman. That opened at "Listenin' Was a Great Thing Once," about a man who had forgotten his father's stories, until he was stuck for weeks in a hospital. He remembered story after story as he told them to sick and fretful patients, who forgot for a while to feel pain. Well, I have to read more of the essays now, don't I? Only this week I pulled out a slender hardback by May Sarton, "Joanna and Ulysses," published in 1963, and isn't it speaking straight to my heart on the same subject as "Artists' Journey," by Julia Cameron, which a group of us have been studying for months? "Somewhere deep down inside her there was a being who was not the dutiful daughter she had forced herself to become. She felt she had earned a commitment to this being, the painter, because although she had no illusion about the value of what she did, painting could, she felt, become a way of finding out what she really thought about things, where she was now, at thirty." Of course, she did have an illusion. She supposed her paintings were not good. My precious, precious books! How I neglect you for years, yet cling with strength to the great good in you when I meet you again.