11 July 2011

Comfortable In My Obsolescence

Wandered the bookstore the other day, tracing the strands of my divergent memory, trying to find not my lost shaker of salt but the riding crops for the horses that are my thoughts.  I tell myself to stop buying books until I have read the books I bought the last time I told myself to stop buying books.

I was unsuccessful.  I ended up buying Seeds and Thoughts In Solitude, both by Thomas Merton, and a paperback copy of Meditations, written by Marcus Aurelius as translated by Martin Hammond.  I already have one version of the Marcus Aurelius work, but (flashes his geek credentials) I wanted to compare the two and see how the different translators interpreted the work.

I hear some of you saying "Gumbo needs to get a life".  A fair cop, I suppose.

I worry sometimes that I do not have a life, outside of the tesseract that is my head.  I love to read, mentally tasting words, chewing on them, delighting in the tang and savor.  I know that writing and reading are integral to the way I view myself and my station in the world.  Words and language and ideas are sinew, bone and blood...the air in my lungs, the beating of my heart.  The page and the book (especially the book) are avatars of what I want to be.

And I am so afraid they will soon be obsolete.  I had the chill settle on my heart, standing in the bookstore and reading passages from Merton and Aurelius.  Their words reached across decades and centuries to grab me by the heart and jolt my mind with electricity born of the pen across the page.  I felt the chill of obsolescence in the middle of a bookstore, because there are so many pages, so many books in me, and I have not yet begun to write.

I hope I am not too late


  1. I live in my head, too. it gets lonely sometimes

  2. You made a Jimmy reference, you sir have a wonderful life.

    - A pirate 200 years to late (aka Me)

  3. I do love a good Margaritaville reference in the morning, it does offer hope for the rest of the week...
    Cheers, Sausage.

  4. The word "kerygma" must have had you at hello, since you went back for more Thomas Merton

  5. "...rocking in the aisle to my inside song, people staring at me like I got a walkman on..." (jackson browne, Every Where I Go) ~~

    There can be such a joy in the way things are said or written or sung -- words are lovely things.


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...