I went to Audrey’s, our local book store, last night, to buy a copy of Sense and Sensibility. I am only buying this book because I bought Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, and I started reading that, and I realized that I don’t think I’ve read Sense and Sensibility, and I think, in the entire spirit of parody, you should read one before the other. (Also, this explanation for Mr. Spit, who gets very nervous when I go into bookstores. It’s ok dear. I took the store credit we had and spent that on the other 2 books I bought. It wasn’t very expensive, as far as Audrey’s trips go. In fact, I may modestly say it wasn’t that expensive, period.)
But, my flimsy household accounting (and even flimsier excuses to my husband) aren’t particularly what this entry is about. It has been, as you might have noticed, a shit week here at the Spits. (and I’m using that word because my mother told me I was having a shit week, and if she says it, surely. . .)
And while I was at Audrey’s, there were day planners for 2010. And I realized, that I have not had a dayplanner in a few years. I tried using my Palm, and these electronic bingley-beep dealies are not for me. These dayplanners were Moleskin, which strikes me as the sort of thing I would like to use. Ernest Hemmingway used Moleskin, and I think I might be more like Hemmingway if I could use Moleskin. I would derive a visceral pleasure in using the same sort of thing he used. It would be traditional and historical, and every good kind of thing. It would be a connection to the past, unlike the new-fangled bingley-beeping things.
Every so often, Mr. Spit indicates that I should get a Kindle. And don’t get me wrong, I think the Kindle is great, nifty and cool. But. . .
It’s not paper. It’s not ink on paper. You can’t turn pages, you can’t leave it open at a paragraph, underline something that speaks to you. And you certainly can’t throw it across the room when a line makes you very angry. There’s nothing permanent about a Kindle, or an electronic bingley-beepy thing.
A kindle is a device, and I like books. I like paper. I like the feel of a perfect pen in my hand. I like ink. I like a good pen. I like blue ink on paper, the feel of it as it leaves the pen. The slight indentation a good Cross fountain pen puts on nice cotton paper. I like the heft ink gives to words. I think about these things, I like permanence.
And all of this is a particular way of saying that I’ve had enough of this week. This week has been a soul sucking morass. I’ve written it down, and I’m glad that some of you commented to share it with me, and all of you read it. I’m glad that I have words, and I can turn my thoughts into them. And like all books, all things with permanence, I’ve had enough of this chapter, for now. I’m turning the page, to see a new title, and new events.
And were it not for a book, I would likely have lost my perspective on optimism entirely.
I picked up Madeline L’Engle’s Wrinkle in Time Quintet two nights ago. And in typical Madeline form, she reminded me of the power of permanence:
There are still stars which move in ordered and beautiful rhythm. There are still people in the world who keep promises. . . That’s enough to keep my heart optimistic, no matter how pessimistic my mind. [And you and] I have good enough minds to know how very limited and finite they really are. The naked intellect is an extraordinarily inaccurate instrument.
Madeline L’Engle, A Wind in the Door.