Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Book Stops Here

For all it is nothing less than miraculous for two individuals to form an intense and lasting bond, it stretches the imagination beyond limits to find a book that inspires trust, fidelity, challenge, and growth.

You have in your ways been involved in both types, seeing them flourish, becoming a self you liked better as a result.  These bonds--those of friendship, romance, and remarkable books--seemed often to arrive by accident, when you were least expecting them.  You have the delights of the memories of them, reaching out to you as you reached to them.  You have also the sense of trial and error, how a word or two, a tone of voice, a vagrant attitude could put you off such a relationship, in effect motivating you to replace the relationship on the shelf whence it came.

All too often you are aware of the other side of the coin, of you for one reason or other failing to make the cut or, as is said in show business, the call back.  Being on this side of the net is not an easy thing for your ego or, for that matter, for anyone's ego, and yet it is a part of the wisdom you, as a rock rolling down a hill, pick up from the simple inertia of rolling downward.

Just today an old and dear friend sat across a table from you and told you of behavior she felt almost powerless to stop, behavior that was, as she put it, from an individual she recognized as her and as well as the her she did not like being.

Connections with individuals seems so rare to you that the entire concept has a sense of the mysterious if not the downright mysterious.  Connections with books seem equally rare.  At the moment your glue for holding these things together is your own work, whether it is writing, teaching, or editing.  It is mysterious if not mystical when you are able to invest in these activities to the degree that you feel some added connection with them.

You could well have added music to the list because there, too, it is difficult to cope with the sheer number of compositions and their interpretations.  The individuals you are drawn to, the books and musical compositions with which you seek to form some kind of bond seem at first infused with bravura, that meeting place where confidence, bravery, and agility conflate, then wish to come forth to converse, to share.

The more you look at and consider these qualities, you can see why the numbers seem so enormous to you, so unlikely, which pushes you back to the beginning and the sense that you must work to keep them in view so that you can, as your ability allows, send them forth as your enthusiasm allows.

To have cherished friends, remarkable books and music to which you can repair, you must seek as you have sought storytelling skills the craft of being a cherished friend, or reflecting the conversations you have had with the books and music you prize.  These are no small tasks at any time, nor have they ever been, but to your credit you have recognized those who have accomplished them.

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