29 December 2012

read as i say, not as i read

So it turns out that reading a set of books that your spouse read and loved and begged you to read for months will open a whole new area of conversation amongst you.

Whether you view that as opening Pandora's box, or just a can of worms, well, that's on you to decide.

Opening such a can has in fact happened twice in the course of our short marriage and, as I have a decidedly positive outlook on life (give or take a few overreactions, quickly overlooked and forgotten, of course), I take it as opening another small window into Topher's brain, that I do.

You see a few years ago, I managed to cajole Topher into opening the tales of a sir Henry James Potter, as written by one JK Rowling, and I can only imagine that finally meeting my ink and paper twin (Hermione, that is) was unto meeting the inner depths of my soul, as it were.

And when Topher opened that first page of the Sorceror's Stone, well, it should be noted that the heavens parted and the light of wisdom and understanding of myriads of references now understood shown down upon us and our union was granted an additional five years of unending happiness and blessings.

And yet, knowing all these extra blessings wrought unto us from Christopher's reading of seven of my deliciously favorite books, knowing the seemingly endless months I had ahead of me living in a foreign land where the best distraction of constant, erm, glowing, is distraction of any kind, but reading is best, and YET, I still resisted. Re-read Harry Potter, I did, in fact, before I did indeed relent and I opened them.

The saga of the Song of Ice and Fire, otherwise heralded as the Game of Thrones.  

I am currently in the midst of the third book, and they pass in quite a whirlwind, as there are four or five all mashed together like one book in my Kindle version, and so I never really know when I'm about to end one and traverse into another until I reach dozens of pages of family trees, which are an attempt, unsuccessful at best for my understanding, to break down the lines of the dozens of families within in each novel.

And yet, I like them.  They are entertaining and have good characters, and I especially love that the battle scenes are almost always explained after they have happened, secondhand, from one character to another, which has got the best thing ever!  Reading battle scenes is the worst, way worse even than having to read Quidditch scenes in my beloveds.
However, I'd have to say some of the best times I've had reading this year are the books I pulled off the shelf I'd just dusted for spiderwebs while working in the library here at site.  I read so many rad children's books this way!  It was like I had a chance to do third grade all over, which, for those who know me, is saying a lot!

I mean, I had no idea that Roald Dahl was so freaking creative.  His books are works of art!  Whole new words and ideas and hilarity, from these books!  AND I even discovered that a movie that I used to DREAD seeing on the Disney channel when I was young because it TERRIFIED me is actually The Witches by Dahl!  And I needn't have been so afraid, although, who really wants to stay a mouse forever?  But Anjelica Houston, and those wigs and nails all the witches had! Nightmares for days if I even caught one second of the ballroom meeting scene.

And my friends, there were so many more lovely children's books I devoured those afternoons, perched on a teak wood chair, in my jersey cotton maxi skirts, a button down shirt, (untucked because I can when I work at the library!), beams of sunlight slowly making their way across the dusty floor as the sun lowered ever so slowly into dusk, peals of laughter reaching me from the secondary school just a mere fifty yards away.  

Charlie and his chocolate factory, Charlotte and her web, Laura and her prairie, Pippi and her horse; they will always spring to mind when I feel a layer of dust on my fingers and I hear the slow strum of an overhead fan.   

Those books, they belong to this full year I spent living in Cambodia, and they belong to the Kate who lived in that year, who strived ever so much to live in the moment and not strain for the next.  And these books, they helped her stay present and happy and joyful and young and patient and peaceful.

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