Old Friends...

Living once again in the city of my birth has led me to retrace the steps of my younger years. Late at night, I've taken to driving past old homes, the schools I played sports for, and past haunts that were significant to me. Some places haven't changed in the seven-odd years I've been away, and others exist only in the landscape of my memories. Yesterday I discovered that a particular old favorite had gone the way of the walkman. Tucked behind a dry-cleaner and next to a questionable Chinese Wok used to be Broadway Books, the sort of modest shop that exists only in forgotten strip malls. There I found many wonderful treasures, from a full set of hardcover second edition Lord of the Rings ($10! What a steal!) to an Asimov-edited Best of 1954 Sci-Fi anthology.
The notion of the well-worn tome seems to have gained disfavor with the buying public. My new favorite spot for used volumes closed during the summer, and I'm at a bit of a loss to find a new one. Unlike one of my outspoken sisters, I can't stomach paying $16 for a paperback copy of Don Dellilo's White Noise, when I know I could find it for $5 elsewhere. Furthermore, I enjoy the sense that I'm sharing a conversation with another person besides the author as I read. When I thumb through my beat-up copy of Where the Wild Things Are, I'm sharing story-time with Mindy Branson, age 5 (her Hancock scrawled on the front title page giving it a childish credibility). One of my favorite memories of college was reading through my friend Heather's copy of A Room With a View by E. M. Forster. She'd invited me emulate her in underlining and starring the passages that I found particularly meaningful, and it was fascinating to discover where we found companionship and where we differed. After a while, books become friends, their familiar spines on your shelf reminding you of old acquaintances who bequeathed them to you, the places you read them, the debates that they led to in class. I'll leave you with a poem by Rilke which expresses my sentiment regarding these familiar faces.

Memory -

And you wait, awaiting the one
to make your small life grow:
the mighty, the uncommon,
the awakening of stone,
the depths to be opened below.

Now duskily in the bookcase
gleam the volumes in brown and gold;
You remember lands you have wandered through
the pictures and the garments
of women lost of old.

And you suddenly know: it was here!
You pull yourself together, and there
stands an irrevocable year
of anguish and vision and prayer.
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I set out today to see if I could learn some useless trivia, and thanks to Yahoo! found the answer to my burning question.
Minutia...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend



Technology is so amazing.
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Think the Brontës were talented?

I may be a little too pleased but still honored and surprised to be included in this, as it makes me appear a bit more skilled than I am. But my sister looks phenomenal. I'm proud of how hard my school works to incorporate the arts into their curriculum. It isn't always a perfect fit, but the evidence of what many of the graduates are involved in speaks of its effectiveness. Equally amazing but much more gratifying is the recognition that my parents have bequeathed me an artistic heritage, and my sisters have given me the encouragement and incentive to build on this. I'm continually thrilled and inspired by the beauty and grace with which they live their lives, and determined to keep up on the expression-front.
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