* Note: Originally published 2011
“The fiery moments of passionate experiences are moments of wholeness and totality”
~ ANAIS NIN
I am very passionate about words. Any kind, any form. I am not choosy.
Along with writing I read. Although Ms Anais Nin certainly was not speaking to passion about words in the above quote she had quite an impact on my life back in the early 70’s. Her words that she shares so brazenly typically spoke of passion and the wholeness it provides the body and the soul. Passion is not choosy either, it’s just devoted.
My passion for words and this quote struck me f unny tonight running across it in a magazine.I don’t sleep much which may be what helps provide both space and time to write abstract and random thoughts. Some times I even write with clear intent such as I do with a current literary project. But my love of words does not stop with only writing the words, it also involves reading and using words. Lots of them. Bounds of them. I am a definite passionate bibliophile. Another o-phile to my pedigree. I don’t know how one could be a writer without also being a reader, but that is a whole different show.
So I don’t sleep…. so I write… and so I read.
The quote above stuck me funny as there are no less than 6 books, 3 magazines, two journals (one for writing, one for sketching and doodling) and a couple of notebooks all within my reach.There are several pens, watercolor pencils, and colored pencils all right next to me as well. This represents my passion so well that I want to write/document this memory for myself. One day maybe I will even scrapbook it.
Tonight I am not sleeping so instead I am reading Let me add that I have never thrown a book away. Never- even if it becomes damaged in some way I will manage to somehow repair or re-purpose it. All that matters are the words. When the event that a book is beyond repair it becomes an altered book. Using mixed mediums I create a book that has pages full of collages, quotes, pressed flowers, photographs, and meaningful ephemera. They are fun and this allows me the best thing of all; not having to throw those words away. These altered books then become gifts.
The six books around me tonight are here because I am waiting to read three of them, just finished one, and two are new books that are gifts.
Tatiana De Rosnay, her book titled “Sarah’s Key” looks really good from the jacket brief. Looks to be one that I am really going to enjoy -giving me yet another author to add to my favorites list. The other book/gift is one of my most favorite of all time authors. Ann River Siddons. I simply am taken away to a different culture when I am inside her stories. She writes about what she knows like all good writers must. Her stories always take place in either the low country of the Carolina’s or on the Georgia Bank. Both places come with lifestyles and cultures so very different from the ones I’m familiar with having only lived on the West Coast. That would be the Pacific West Coast, not as in the west coast of the Gulf of Mexico and Florida. (my travel sheltered life is showing when I had to be told this geographic difference) This is one of the reasons I read. The words and the story lines take me to places I’ve never been. But in my mind I have been all over this world, in a time machine seeing how different people live. What is important to one city is not to another village. As a child my mother would become irritated with me after having to ask me the third time, she would demand that I “remove my nose from that book” all the while shaking her head and smiling the smile she thought we never saw. My mother was just as passionate about books. I always thought there was a repressed writer inside her.
I found humor in Ms Nin’s quote tonight as I sit with books around me. Out in my two car garage sits 25 boxes of books because this new home does not have the built-in book-case the last home had. I had designed the last bookcase in that home that also did not come with one. Why are bookcases no longer part of the build-ins like they were in homes built before the 196o’s?
I designed a bookcase aside and parallel to a staircase so that the shelves increased in tiers as the stairs went up. I did not want to lose the shape of the staircase. A good friend who is a master carpenter than built it from my simple design. The books had a new home. That was 8 years ago and I and the books have since moved to another home with no bookcase. I see a pattern here. So the books sit in boxes waiting, waiting for their new home. I have not even decided where let alone what it will look like, but a new bookcase must be in the works soon. Until then the books are piling up everywhere in the house. While being such a ravenous reader the books seem to procreate…all by them selves.
So I am sitting with 6 books in front of me now, and only one have I read completely. “I Know Where I Am Going” – Katherine Hepburn, a Personal Biography by Charlotte Chandler. I just finished this really good read and I’d recommend this to anyone wanting to get to know Ms Hepburn or her cohorts from the halcyon days of the Big Screen. I am a huge Film Noir fan rarely watching movies prior to 1960’s unless it has received such incredible reviews from people I know. I like the old black and whites. An era that I believe I should have belonged to. Do you ever feel an infinity for a certain time period? The era’s between 1930 and 1960 is home to me. Granted being born in 1955 may have something to do with my passion for the over stuffed furniture, the art deco, the tiny waist dresses, and oh my gosh the hair styles!
I finished Miss Hepburn’s book, the second biography of hers that I have read. This is the one woman who I would answer when asked, “which movie star would you most like to be like?” I find her striking sense of independence and free spirit something I’d never seen in my life as a child and I found her exciting and real. As an adult woman today I find all those same things still my reasons for holding Ms Hepburn up in high regard. She was a woman who believed in passion, and she believed in looking for passion in everything she did, everything she saw, everywhere she went.
I am now reading “Imperfect Justice ” by Jeff Ashton. He is the prosecutor who tried Casey Anthony in the death of her 2-year-old daughter. This story affected me. Because I have a passion for children and their little quiet voices needing to be heard this real life drama struck me deeply. I am a sworn CASA in 3 counties in my state and hope that by giving these little ones a loud voice will help one day eradicate missing children, abused children, and neglected children. That is my eternal hope.
I followed the case of this baby missing and her mother’s trial. I am also a trial junkie and I like to read if possible the state’s side of things. Rarely will I read a defense attorney’s book and never ever the perpetrator of the crime. This is going to be an interesting read, not just the rehash of information I all ready know. Mr Ashton is currently doing the TV circuit to promote his book and I saw him on a talk show recently; his grim disappointment at not being able to have shown the jury enough evidence to convict Anthony on any charges seems will be with him for quite some time. As difficult as some parts may be to read having answers to questions that came up during the trial is worth it. And he’s a decent narrator.
Just as I am able to find a pile of books surrounding me as a passionate experience Ms Hepburn found the simple & little things in life are the ones that created in her the most passionate of all her experiences. …..a good book is a good read. No matter the genre….and those words…oh those words….I’m very passionate about those words.