Refuge

School. 


I’ve never been one to need a hard chair and a desk and white board to get me some education ;). The first month I was sick with some weird ‘bronchitis/pneumonia’ (i.e.: precursor to the Full-Blown Lyme Takeover), I watched a heck of a lot of movies, which I believed was the dominion of the sick, and was practically expected of me. I borrowed the complete set of Monty Python Dvd’s from my neighbour, and imagined I could truly laugh away the problems. I could ‘spend’ the time of illness by ignoring the ticking hands of the clock and loose myself in british comedy. That was fun for like, 1 hour. I’ve seen movies where sick kids watch movies all day, which sounds like fun in theory, but honestly, I watched ‘Flashdance’ and ‘The God’s Must be Crazy’ (1 & 2) in one afternoon and it wasn’t as diverting as pop culture has led me to believe. As the credits rolled, I still was lying prone on the couch, my head pounding and the wet in my lungs tickling, making me cough. And I was 6 hours of my life poorer. 

I made a decision when I had to stop going to school in Grade 10 that if I was going to spend this time in my life chasing that elusive dragon of health, I was going to read every damn classic I could lay my hands on. Everything is a tall order, but being 15 I thought it was manageable ;).  I’d had a mental list of ‘fabulous books’ that I wanted to have the time to read, and here was my big chance…I’d run out of excuses. I dreamed of greedily savouring Sommerset Maughn adventures, Tolstoy’s & Dumas’ dramas, dive headlong into the worlds of C.S. Lewis, Wilde, Juvenal, Homer, Margret Atwood, Jules Verne, HG Wells…and why stop at novels? “Leaves of Grass”, the wordsmiths Wordsworth, Keats, T.S. Eliot, Shakespeare, Horace…a world teeming with emotion, poured into words, neat little rows of toy-soldier-letters, infinite patterns. Words. I didn’t need to leave my bed to travel to pastoral England, ride to Tibet, fall in love with Paris, and St. Petersburg, the sea floor, a wardrobe. The future, the past…it was all here. It was waiting for me. 

The further I travelled back in literary time – that is to say, the older books I began to read – I began expanding & redefining my horizons, seeking out global classics. I also found myself combing the e-shelves for religious texts and holy documents from a wide breadth of religions, from the obscure, long dead, and current religions, and some semi-religious philosophies for a healthy balance. The Popul Vuh, teachings of Buddha, Qur’an, Hebrew & New Testament Bibles, Gathas, world ‘Myths’…I began collecting religions the way some people collect rocks. Was a part of me searching for the ‘way’, the answer, the meaning of it all? Honestly, I’m not sure. I’ve yet to find it in one volume, anyway. I’ve come to see the ‘wisdom’ and ‘truth’ as scattered, and global religions as each gathering but a seed from the ‘dandelion of truth’ (work with me here, people. the meaning of the universe is in a dandelion. deal with it.). Not an original deduction by any means, but I felt sure that the overlap of ideas in holy/philosophic works represented some universal truths. I tried ‘god’ – both the uppercase and lowercase variety; plural, infinite, natural, and monotheist  – and it wasn’t for me. 

Friends of the Library

I think I will be reading from today til the end of the world in 2012.

We went to the “Friend of the Library Book Sale” today, the first time I have been well enough to leave the house for a few days. We arrived to sort through the remaining books of the sale, during the last 30 minutes. Basically, you pay $5.00 for as many books as you can carry, and we managed 21 books. That’s an average of something like $.24 a book. Crazy, right? We got some wonderful old books, including a book of Spanish American poetry from the 30’s (bilingual), a book on war tactics, botany of the Pacific Northwest, history of print making through the middle ages, “Strange Fruit” (the history of the Billie Holiday song), 2666 by Robert Bolaño and many others. It is an excellent start to my own library…and these already have authentic bar codes and decimal numbers!

The Last Day of March

Today was okay I guess. We went to the library in “Woodbridge”, where ever that is, and checked out an insane amount of books, movies, and a probably 20+ CD’s of jazz mostly! I am currently adding them to my growing library as we speak! I lost quite a few songs when I transfered them to our external hard drive (I probably clicked no versus yes or something incredibly annoying and basic like that). Today was also blood draw day (oh my favorite!!), but honestly, I’m kinda used to the whole sticking-sharp-objects-into-my-arm-to-draw-out-my-life-sustaining-blood thing. I only have to have blood drawn every two weeks, so I am actually lucky. I still feel like I’m going to black out and such other wondrous things, and still envision myself attacking the needle-baring nurse (but of course its just an idle fantasy! I’ve never attacked anyone medical!).