Month: May 2015

The Albatross – Charles Baudelaire

Dear Monsieur Baudelaire, Have you ever seen an albatross? Perhaps on your voyage to Calcutta, India in 1841? Have you ever watched the seamen mock the “monarch of the clouds” on deck? I have to tell you that I love this poem. It is short and conquerable with its four stanzas and yet the imagery, action, and sentiment are so alive, so primal in a way, and so deep. Strike “so deep”. It sounds like I am sitting here with a sweatband, a joint, and a peace sign. An albatross is designed to soar the same way the hydrodynamic penguin is designed to dart through water. The difference between the two is that penguin looks cute on land, wobbling forward with tiny steps, while the albatross is comical on land. They are each sovereign in their element, but out of it, they are awkward. I believe that one of your points is that the albatross has done nothing to deserve or place itself in its present situation – on the deck of an ocean-going vessel. …

Alan Bennett

Alan, Alan, Alan… On Wikipedia I found this portrait of you from 1973 by Allan Warren, and may I say: You are smashing! Never mind the fact that it was taken before I was even born. Alan Bennett, now an octogenarian (born 1934), is an English playwright, screenwriter, actor and author. That is a load of different titles, and reading the short biographies on Alan, I get the picture of a man with wide vision. The kind of man, who sees opportunities and does not limit himself professionally or personally. Well Alan, I salute you!

A real life, delivered-by-a-postman letter

I recently received a letter. Not a text, nor an email, but a real life, delivered-by-a-postman letter. Letters mean something different that emails. They are special. There is something about writing a letter by hand or on the computer and printing it out. When the words exist in print, they somehow have more weight. The words matter. The letter isn’t just sent out by a single mouse click, but carefully placed in an envelope. The writer can’t just begin to write the name in the address line and expect the computer to guess the rest. The writer has to find the address, write it, and then…. Stamps. They cost and you have to find a post office or shop that sells them. When I write, I have succumbed to mobile stamps. With the address and stamp taken care of, the writer has to send the letter – in a mailbox. I am sure that many find letter writing and –sending archaic, and I will be the first to admit that I don’t send many letters, …

This book sweeps me off my feet

There are certain situations where falling is a good thing: falling in love, falling into place, and being swept off your feet – all very apropos the bookmark pictured above. My love for reading began to bloom in earnest in Kingwood, TX in the late 80s. I was a blond, plump girl, who wore white knee-high stockings to school. I woke up with a book and went to sleep to a book to such a degree that I can keep my place in a book with a finger all through the night – quite expertly I might add. It was those formative years in a young girl’s life, when she learns to read and realizes that the entire world is full of books, just waiting to be read. I expect that coloring a bookmark was a reading assignment in the crafty end, but it was here I learned how to use a bookmark, never to dog-ear a book, and how to carry a book, holding the spine of the book against the palm of my …

Jorge Luis Borges

He is the father – or possibly grandfather – of magical realism. Tweed-clad and avant-garde, Jorge Luis Borges is one of the more internationally renowned, Argentinian writers and essayist. He was born in 1899 in a home with literary and international flair; he spent World War I in Switzerland and the following years in Spain, before returning to Argentina in 1921. Jorge Luis Borges wasn’t a literary prodigy, writing literary masterpieces before completing school, but spent years writing for journals. His major books consisting of short stories and essays were published in the 1940s. In 1955, Jorge Luis Borges become the director of the National Public Library and professor of English Literature at the University of Bueno Aires, so his hard work paid off eventually. Jorge Luis Borges become completely blind at the age of 55 and for some reason never learned Braille. He was unable to read, but kept writing with his mother as his personal secretary. Some critics have suggested that his blindness contributed to create innovative literary symbols through imagination. I have …

462 of you

Not so long ago, I reconsidered Louise’s Home Library and even though I didn’t actively formulate goals, a couple of them floated around in the folds of my mind. Wouldn’t it be cool if there were people out there in the blogging community who read what I wrote? YES! What a compliment it would be, if some of those readers chose to follow Louise’s Home Library! YOU BET! From February to early May 2015 many of you have drifted by Louise’s Home Library – actually more have visited during the entire year of 2014. And… 462 of you have actively chosen to follow Louise’s Home Library! THANK YOU!! I mean that. Thank you – each and every one of you. You are a major part of fulfilling my dream. My dream isn’t winning the Nobel Prize in literature or something equally grand (not yet anyway). My dream is participating a community that emphasized some of the subjects that make my heart and mind flutter i.e. reading and writing. And in extension developing my traditional hermit-hobbies …

My Bout with Mortality (by proxy)

The last couple of weeks have left me emotionally drained and just plain tired. A family member – my father – was hospitalized, and the only books I read were the Harlequin romances I bought in the hospital gift shop. My father is – thankfully – convalescing and little by little the normalcy of everyday life, routines, and the notion of “that’s just how it goes or is” returns, albeit with one major difference. One ugly theme looms at the very back of my mind just below conscious though: MORTALITY There it is in big, bold letter, that final “the end”. Reading it can be sweet, bittersweet, or gut wrenching, but in reality encountering it, even at a distance, is paralyzing. Medusa’s gaze could turn a man to stone, but I believe that it is the next of kin who are turned to stone in real life. My father underwent serious, emergency surgery, relied on a respirator, and round the clock care afterwards. To tell the truth, I didn’t know how to react, and as …