Too many things to report, really, and more than I can sort in my wandering mind. But if I don’t get to it soon, I’ll be back at school and then who knows what my easily enchanted brain will be caught up with.
First, because I love you, I am ordering you to find yourself a copy of The Night Circus (Erin Morgenstern), and read it as soon as possible, preferably in a clutter lovely setting surrounded by your dearest curiosities and most favourite bits and pieces. With a fat red teapot and a plate of salty sweet chocolate chip cookies. It is a love letter to whimsy and fairy tales and magic and wonder and stories and books and it will sweep you into pages that lose you in dreams you will long to make real. Yes. Read it.
From The Night Circus, on to my own whimsies; I haven’t told you yet about my visit to Trinity College and the library there. The moment I shared that I was on my way to Ireland, almost the first words on everyone’s lips were Book of Kells. Go, they said. You must see the Book of Kells, and they were right, it was splendid and awe-inspiring, but. But! So much more than just the mesmerizing couple of pages I was able to see of that wondrous tome, the Trinity campus itself sent tremors of wishful longing straight through me. I could so easily see myself doing a Masters in Applied Linguistics there, focussing on the socio-political issues of language contact between Gaelic and English in Ireland. Yes. I realize I’m a little bit nuts, but the prospect actually makes my heart race and my knees go weak.
After visiting the Book of Kells and being tumbled through a history of scribes and biblio-craft, I found myself upstairs in what is known as The Long Room of the Library at Trinity and really, honestly, almost began to cry because I knew they wouldn’t let me stay forever. And then I realized I wouldn’t be allowed to take pictures, and don’t laugh at me, but I actually did cry just a tiny little bit. But I was able to sit, among shelves upon shelves upon shelves of books singing out their longing to be opened, catalogued, treasured; and I wrote for a bit in my own little journal, and spent some time peering through glass cases at early texts propped open to showcase the art of their typeset or font or illustrations. I couldn’t breathe for the beauty and it was trembling that I forced myself finally to go, fingers and soul reaching back with an ache to gently leaf through pages.
I’m pretty sure my children are the only things on this earth I could possibly love more than books.
Trees are a close third, but really, trees are just books in another language.
I love them.