Views from Annie's Cabin

miscellaneous musings on aging and living and loving

Saturday in the Hammock

on March 20, 2016

Last warm day before a cold snap.  In the morning I worked on our new garden patch, hoping and praying there’ll be enough sun to grow a few 
decent tomatoes.  Then, knowing a trip to Greenville was slated for the evening, I betook myself to the hammock for the afternoon…..with a book that’s turning my heart inside out.


Perhaps you can read the title from here:

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George.

Where do I start, and how to describe the thunder and ice and clouds and mists and fragrances and hope that it’s brought to my heart?  How do I begin to describe the passages I’ve traveled reading it?

At first I was perplexed, then intrigued, and then didn’t want to continue reading it until or unless or when I had the time to really read it.  I mean—to listen to the words, to enjoy and understand the leaps and somersaults of the words, the surprises they hold when laced together in unfamiliar patterns.  Nina George, like Dylan Thomas, LOVES THE WORDS!

So I kept reading a few pages, then stopping to breathe, then picking it up, then stopping to breathe… least five times I’ve started and stopped, reading the beginning chapters over and over again but knowing I didn’t have the time to really take the ride…..till yesterday….in the hammock.

Then I was enchanted and curious and charmed; then my heart started breaking and I fell beneath sorrow; then I laughed the deep clean bountiful laugh of a heart in love with a book.  Oh, and did I mention the words——-??

It’s so unbearably good that I had to put it down after each chapter…again to breathe, to savor, to rewind, to recover my balance.  And that’s when I’d pull the beribboned chain and swing and swing and swing….and close my eyes and let that world and my world blend and merge…..and let it teach me its spells.

And what is it teaching me?  It’s teaching me to take more risks…with my own writing.  And it’s teaching me to take more loving time for life itself; to tender each moment, each breeze, each scent upon the air; to prize and gather the fleeting beauty and hold it as a treasure in my heart; to take the hard little kernel of bitterness that’s managed to stay lodged way way down deep and rub it with frankincense and myrrh till it dissolves ….thereby dispelling all bereftness of soul…..

The book is —well, here are the notes I scrawled yesterday.  Read for yourself, Gentle Reader:

“It’s too intensely beautiful and poignant and truthful—I can’t stand it!  I need champagne!—–

“…and so!…out of the hammock in full tousled habille…I find my old faded straw hat from halcyon days of “junk” excursions in the South China Seas with ex-pat girlfriends—steered by a fearless captain with his toes, island hopping (“to buy a hat!”) before dropping anchor to be served wine and cheese and fruit after which a climb down the ladder for a swimmy swirl in the magic waters……..oh and with that old island straw hat and my old faded black ‘everything else,’  I painted my lips baby doll pink and and returned in magic to my hammock with a cold split of champagne….…talking my soul into taking more risks…and allowing my heart to believe…..”

Need I say more, oh Gentle Reader?  Other than I’ve never read anything like it before—and probably never ever will.  But this one’s already become an old and cherished friend……..



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