Thursday, March 11, 2010

More on books (not classy enough to be "On Books")

Aside from being signals of my disinclination to dislike sloth, the books that have been on my apartment floor for the past week or so are signals I've been working full time. This should not be unusual, but it is. I'm on the dole.

Occasionally, thank goodness, I get the call, literally. This time it was to join a group of people I've known for the past five years. We're all artists of one sort or another and we all copy edit and proofread financial statements as one of the ways we earn our living.

Generally we divide into twosomes, with one person reading out loud and the co-pilot marking the latest version of the 10-K or other SEC filing. The work isn't fascinating but it sure is eye-opening (as to what those filings really are about, hint: justification of business practices that don't favor the common person). When the justification is in high swing, the work is exhausting.

So I'm beat. So the books stay on the floor rather than getting dusted and returned to their shelves, old and new (new as in my rescue bookcase mentioned in my previous blog). Tonight I made another push to organize them. It's never over. I always think it will be, that I will have finally decided what stays and goes where.

As anyone sensible knows, books have a life of their own and it can be eerie, as in the case of Doug Anderson's poetry collection, The Moon Reflected Fire, which kept showing up in different parts of my apartment last month. It would loft itself off shelves, page across the floor, wait from this or that part of the room or kitchen or work area. Doug is a wonderful poet and The Moon Reflected Fire speaks of life (and war) through Goya and Homer in incredibly beautiful and disciplined anguish.

You know, what I planned on saying in this blog was the following:

* It sure is hard to have a life and work (big news there)
* Some books I will never reread, however much I loved them. Not writ in stone but I suspect that Conrad's The Secret Agent, which has fascinated me for the past thirty years, will have to wait (for me, not thousands of other readers and rereaders)
* Some books I might reread: Jane Eyre is always a possibility; I read A Confederacy of Dunces seven times in the year I read it (which began with my rereading Jane Eyre)
* Some books break open, literally, such as Anne Sexton's The Awful Rowing Toward God (splendid), and I will have to buy a new copy. My Babar books turned to dust. My King James Bible, which I thought was supposed to last forever--it's on what we called "Bible paper" in my Protestant Sunday School--is calling it a day and a night, in its Biblical manner

My final insight is this: pink lentils and fresh chard cook down beautifully. Add sauteed garlic and, to sweeten the soup, an apple. Spice as you will (I'm always up for Indian). Eat. You'll find the energy to at least put the last of the books on the shelves and, almost as good, delude yourself, as I have myself, that the ultimate reorganization will take place this coming weekend.


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