soon, the third edition of the language/place blog carnival will go online. the suggested theme for the edition was: “a place where I felt I really belonged”. below, my contribution for it. i hadn't expected that the theme would send me there.
When Home is a Page
A place I belong.
Home, I thought.
And walked through the rooms of my home.
One element you can find in almost each room: books.
A place without books – to me, it feels like something is missing.
That’s why I usually carry some books with me when I am leaving for other places. And always try to find the right books, for the right places.
Like: The Sea. By John Banville. Best opened, of course, close to the sea, to read this first line: “They departed, the gods, on the day of the strange tide... I would not swim again, after that day.”
Or: Tolkien. Lord of the Rings. "Herr der Ringe“ in German. A book for mountains that come with deep canyons and old castles. Like the French Alps which fit the introduction: “Jene Tage, das Dritte Zeitalter der Mittelerde, sind nun längst vergangen, und die Gestalt alle Länder ist seither eine andere.” – „Those days, the Third Age of Middle-earth, are now long past, and the shape of all lands has been changed.”
Or those serendipitous moments. Like staying in a holiday apartment in Vienna, and being handed a Paper House (by Jessie Carty) to read. In a room with a silver table. And wooden floor, where I...
"Draw the shape of a house.
Trim the edges to form a roof.
Place pieces of furniture
or people to peer at"
And this one: Marie Luise Kaschnitz, which accompanied me to Berlin with her poetry collection: Kein Zauberspruch – “No magic word“. The book, I found it piled up to be thrown away. Kaschnitz lived through both world wars, and died in Rome, 1974. Her words are still there, and walked through Berlin with me:
"Immer mir vor Augen / diese verwandelte Stadt
Always in front of my eyes / this transformed city"
Some books, I exchange on the road. Some I find. Some I leave. Some, I takes pictures of.
Back home, the bookshelves mirror the places I have been to, the people I have met, the pages I have turned while my mind had belonged to a story, to a poem, to a tale. To words.
It’s been like this since I have been a child.
There’s always been a pile of books in the place I belonged.
PS: if you enjoyed the read, there's an additional a story for you. it's not about books, but about the "Freight" we carry. the story is: "eighteen", it's up with other Freight stories + poems in the Folded "Freight" contest, you can find them all here: Freight stories.
if you vote, you can win.. a Freight book. to carry around.