This is not the post I intended to write today; but then again, I did not expect today to go as it did.
I am a big believer in the wrong turn; the accidental; the unexpected. Diversions can take you straight to the point; wandering around might show you a new destination. Allowing yourself to be surprised might be the first of a series of events that will enrich your life in ways you never expected.
And now I am standing here, surrounded by mountains of paper with streets made of letters, paved with black and blue ink. The day started with the sun and a to do list, and ended with the stars and a pile of books.
Now, let me explain: I am not entirely sure I always liked books; I remember as a kid when guests came to my party, spotting a book-shaped gift meant a wave of disappointment. Then, books meant school, and teachers, and grades. Books were the manuals for TV and films, instead of a form of entertainment.
But as an IKEA couch remains an object of mystery without the 4 sheets of instructions that come with it, so is life incomplete without the pages of a book. Reading for the first time passages that made me laugh, cry, or realize how similar, different, and unique each person is, are moments that I will always carry with me.
So, I became a bookworm; I always carry at least one book with me. I know that some people are very precious with their books, but I cannot say I am. I crack the back, write, draw, underline, spill coffee, drop tea, and all forms of actions that would make other book lovers gasps. In my books you will find dried flowers from days out, sand from days at the beach, and dried pages from reading in the rain.
So, today I decided to cheer up a friend by making a small photo set of 10 ways to be happy using books. I chose 10 books, put them in an eco bag from Tesco, grabbed my iPhone and walked out of the house.
In between pictures, I flipped through the books, and slowly the intervals got longer. I was reminded of all the parts that made me fall in love with the characters in the pages; I remembered why I love Ali Smith’s work so much, and why every single page, every singe sentence, every single word that escapes from her mind is a work of genius.
I fell down the myriad of complex issues that are discussed in Alice in Wonderland, lived life in the bright colours of Andy Warhol and blew the candles of Truman Capote’s birthday cake.
I saw beauty through the rose-tinted glasses of fairy tales and the realistic eye of Zadie Smith, wrote my notes on a scandal and took a picture of a the theory of taking pictures.
And then I got lost in the words that explored the city I was reading these words in. I got lost in the moment, in the page. The day became more than a project; it became a collection of moments, of words, of feelings, of memories, of smells, of sounds, of the books I read, how they became part of me.
Time for the next page.