Sunday, January 23, 2011

When Home is a Page

soon, the third edition of the language/place blog carnival will go online. the suggested theme for the edition was: “a place where I felt I really belonged”. below, my contribution for it. i hadn't expected that the theme would send me there.

When Home is a Page

A place I belong.
Home, I thought.
And walked through the rooms of my home.

One element you can find in almost each room: books.
A place without books – to me, it feels like something is missing.

That’s why I usually carry some books with me when I am leaving for other places. And always try to find the right books, for the right places.

Like: The Sea. By John Banville. Best opened, of course, close to the sea, to read this first line: “They departed, the gods, on the day of the strange tide... I would not swim again, after that day.”

Or: Tolkien. Lord of the Rings. "Herr der Ringe“ in German. A book for mountains that come with deep canyons and old castles. Like the French Alps which fit the introduction: “Jene Tage, das Dritte Zeitalter der Mittelerde, sind nun längst vergangen, und die Gestalt alle Länder ist seither eine andere.” – „Those days, the Third Age of Middle-earth, are now long past, and the shape of all lands has been changed.”

Or those serendipitous moments. Like staying in a holiday apartment in Vienna, and being handed a Paper House (by Jessie Carty) to read. In a room with a silver table. And wooden floor, where I...

"Draw the shape of a house.
Trim the edges to form a roof.

Place pieces of furniture
or people to peer at"

And this one: Marie Luise Kaschnitz, which accompanied me to Berlin with her poetry collection: Kein Zauberspruch – “No magic word“. The book, I found it piled up to be thrown away. Kaschnitz lived through both world wars, and died in Rome, 1974. Her words are still there, and walked through Berlin with me:

"Immer mir vor Augen / diese verwandelte Stadt
Always in front of my eyes / this transformed city"

Some books, I exchange on the road. Some I find. Some I leave. Some, I takes pictures of.

Back home, the bookshelves mirror the places I have been to, the people I have met, the pages I have turned while my mind had belonged to a story, to a poem, to a tale. To words.

It’s been like this since I have been a child.

There’s always been a pile of books in the place I belonged.

PS: if you enjoyed the read, there's an additional a story for you. it's not about books, but about the "Freight" we carry. the story is: "eighteen", it's up with other Freight stories + poems in the Folded "Freight" contest, you can find them all here: Freight stories.
if you vote, you can win.. a Freight book. to carry around.


Anonymous said...

I love this journey.. I so can relate to the page as feeling like home..wonderful post the pix too.


Jessie Carty said...

so thrilled to be included in this journey!

Parmanu said...

Delightful musings. I love the title too. And it is a nice coincidence to arrive here and read about bookshelves. (Even though, as your tags indicate, you often write about them.)

DCAllen said...

Yes, I feel at home in the pages of so many authors. Very well said. I was also happy to see Jessie Carty's Paper House.

Michael Solender said...

I wonder what these books would have to say about their travels..

Birdy said...

Beautiful post...

Cathy Douglas said...

Ach, me too.

This is why I'm almost insanely in love with my Kindle--it lets me walk around with about a hundred books in my purse, and the New York Times to boot.