Five weeks off work would make anyone happy, and I’m no exception. An adventure across the Pacific awaits with tango shoes and a foreign language. Sleeping in, dancing late, discovering a new city with its food, culture and songs, meeting people, having time to think, create, wonder and wander. See you Friday, Buenos Aires!
I confess that I do often lose things in my house (and in moving have found things I’ve been trying to locate for years). On the other hand, I also have a sixth sense for where certain items are, despite the piles of boxes yet to be unpacked and stacks of books. Take, for example, a volume of Latin American Stories that I haven’t read for over a decade, but I thought it would be nice to read a couple this week. Somehow I knew exactly which pile it was on and found it in less than three seconds. It may be a mess, but it is certainly not chaos.
They sit on the shelf like wise old sages. Not demanding to be read like their flashy descendants, but waiting patiently until the time is right. A classic tale unravels in the printed word and the untold story of readers over decades floats from between the pages. Who read this before me? And who before them? How did the story touch their heart? A perpetual mystery.
I packed my books today, ready for the movers in the morning. While I have many sore muscles, books make me happy. Being surrounded by books give me sense of having a world at my fingertips. So many magical combinations of text on a page to keep the brain ticking.
I’m not going to lie to you – this parenting thing is hard work. My two small people (11 & 13) are great, but they have their moments. Even though they’ve outgrown picture books, I still love them. In fact, I think I love them more now that I don’t get to read them every night at bedtime, and especially when the small people are being beastly. I have my favourites, which are mostly feel-good philosophical tales about relationships. Pearl Barley & Charlie Parsley is up there near the top of the list with The Little Prince and That’s Mean. Other favourites are on the list because they’re so much fun to read out loud – rhythm and rhymes and silly voices – like The Thirsty Flowers.
I just discovered a new picture to a hunt down – Big Wolf & Little Wolf – courtesy of Brainpickings, a fabulous webpage with wonderful reviews and summaries of interesting literature. Originally in French, Big Wolf & Little Wolf (Grand Loup & Petit Loup) is a tale of slow, creepy-uppy kind of love (to quote Tim Minchin). I won’t try to describe the book as I haven’t read it yet and because the brainpickings review is so well written, with relevant quotes from other authors and philosophical bits and bobs.
Big Wolf & Little Wolf, by Nadine Brun-Cosme, illustrated by Olivier Tallec, translated by Claudia Zoe Bedrick. Published by Enchanted Lion Books, New York, 2009.