Sunday, March 10, 2013

"Whoever discovers what these sayings mean"

My grandfather started it.

Sitting at the dining room table, my grandparents, my father and I forming a perfect north, south, east and west compass. He started talking about knowledge, ancient texts and some other things I can't remember as I was too distracted by the large book he had on the table that contained all of those ancient texts.

I love books and knowledge too much to pass a gem like that up. Made a mental note that when I got back to my home on the island of misfit toys I would look for it.

After looping in circles in the bookstore, I found the large book of ancient texts and bought it to add to the loving piles of text already accumulated in my apartment.

Instead of taking the express train home, I got on the local, absorbed in another book. At some point I turned off the music in my headphones and had the low hum of the subway as background noise as I became increasingly engrossed in the words between my fingers.

" Oh that's a wonderful book!" says a very regal woman who had sat next to me in the course of the ride home. " How are you enjoying it so far?"

" I've actually read it before. It's been awhile so I pulled it out. Need a bit of knowledge in my daily routine."

She asked me what kind of books I liked to read, made recommendations. " Isn't it wonderful to read books? In my country, I didn't grow up with a television or movies, my family told stories, a way to charge our imagination."

She paused. " So what do you do to get knowledge everyday?"

" Through these.." I ran my hand over the cover of the book. " Through texts, through life. It's the only way you grow."

I had reached the station that would allow me to transfer to my train, but I stayed on the local, wondering how this conversation would end.

I asked her the same question, she replied in kind. Through life, through the arts ( she was a drama therapist) and had been in acting all her life.

"I like going to Met museum too. Great place to go for solitude and thinking."

" Oh how lovely!" She exclaimed. " A wonderful place indeed. Whenever I feel lonely I go there."

After a few minutes of silence she turns to me and says:

"Always follow your heart's desire. Sometimes you have to be a bad girl and do what works for you. You can be the easy girl, but then you conform to everyone else's standards. Always keep searching for knowledge."

She got up at her stop and waved goodbye.

" Maybe I'll see you at the Met sometime," I say before she gets off.

"That would be nice!."