Friday, December 30, 2011

hidden treasures

Broke in one ( of two) new pair of sneakers to kick start the new year today. Started out near Battery Park and walked all the way through Harlem Valley. On the way home, I actually had a destination this time.

I had come to a compromise with my bookcase. If I rearranged the books it already held, it would make room for the several rare and out of print books I had on my list of buy them for myself presents. Bookcase originally balked, but then obliged. So on my way home I stopped at the rare bookstore. An elongated, narrow space with books going to the ceiling, on the floor, and on the stairs leading to the second level. The two I had spotted a few weeks ago, I knew were mine. The other is being shipped from a used bookstore far, far away.

This one was hiding on the steps, left in the same spot I had found it, I told the shopkeeper that there were a few I was looking for. He looked down at the book a puzzled expression on his face.

" You weren't looking for this one were you?"

I nodded in the affirmative. He shrugged his shoulders and put it in a bag as I bounced out the door. This was the reason why I wanted it:

When I first saw it, all I noticed was the date inscribed on the front page. I'm a sucker for dates like this. When I got home I realized it was inscribed by the author himself the year it was published in 1918. The recipient left a 90 year old newspaper clipping neatly folded on page 25 including an article about the author. Sixty five years later someone inscribed it to the descendant of the subject of the book on the cover. And then almost 29 years later it came home with me.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

tis the season..

It came as an unexpected surprise from the friend whose home I hope to have one day...books overflowing on shelves, the floor and the spiral staircase that leads to depths unknown near 9th avenue. I have books overflowing but only in strategically placed corners..

She knew that in a time of festivity and joy I would be seeking quiet and center balance in the midst of the chaos. So she sent me this. Inscribed on the card:

Happy Holidays and Everyday!

A destination
A refuge
A masterpiece
A joy
A tradition

Sunday, December 18, 2011


The first thing my computer said after I hit the power button was "Where have you been?"

Well, not really but that is what it felt like as for the past six to eight weeks it had mostly been OFF as I didn't have the mental energy to sit down and do anything with craziness swirling from daily life..and I hated it.

When you can't stop at your usual port for repairs the gears start to wind up and get knotted.

Every time I tried to find a balance, the swing would go in the opposite direction.

Now the knots are unwinding. Screen goes on, research subject is happy, and oh boy so am I.

My sneakers were happy too ( and incidentally will need to be replaced soon). Walked over familiar haunts, seeing things as if for the first time, retracing steps over and over, not caring how long it would take, as long as it got me back to the clarity that I need in order to function.

Walked from Harlem to Chinatown and looped back around again. Faded ghost signs, architecture, sunlight that lasted longer than snippets gleaned in the morning, urban silence..

Welcome home.. back to the antics of that cranky ghost in the fedora...