The Little Paris Bookshop is what's playing in my ears as I make my way through the day. A bookshop on a barge - how perfect is that! Sigh! 'He’s short, fat and, objectively speaking, not the most obvious choice of pin-up boy. But he’s smart, strong and he can probably do whatever’s necessary for a life of love. I think he’s the most beautiful man I will ever kiss,’ said Samy. ‘It’s strange that magnificent, good-hearted people like him don’t receive more love. Do their looks disguise their character so well that nobody notices how open their soul, their being and their principles are to love and kindness?'
Nina George, The Little Paris Bookshop
And seriously, a man who is kind and whose heart is open to love is worth so much more than some idiot whose good looks will eventually fade.
“A cultural Muslim: a term my father gave me when I asked him the same question. I used it now, not fully knowing what it meant, more as an out than as an honest answer to Kareem’s question. I had learnt from my experience with my father that the term meant more than just a lax approach to religion: it contained political and historical allegiance to other Muslims.” ― Aatish Taseer, Stranger to History: A Son's Journey through Islamic Lands
When you have everything you want; Luna has her stick and I have a book I like.
. . "I did not want to be the classic bore, the reminiscing geezer, yet I now knew: the old are not as frail as you think, and they are insulted to be regarded as feeble. They are full of ideas, hidden powers, even sexual energy. Don't be fooled by the thin hair and battered features and skepticism. The older traveler knows it best: in our hearts we are youthful, and we are insulted to be treated as old men and burdens, for we have come to know that the years have made us more powerful and streetwise. Years are not an affliction. Old age is strength. -Paul Theroux, Dark Star Safari
When I was a teenager, I considered people in their twenties and thirties as old. Now, in my forties, I look at people in their sixties and think them young. I am attracted to people of all ages. Old age for experience, youth for energy, and middle age for being such a great blend of the other two. .
Paul Theroux (currently reading his Dark Star Safari) on one of my previous reads, Ali & Nino: 'When an author tells the truth, when the truth is told about a society, people don't know what to do, they're confused, they run around, they think no, no, no, that's an exaggeration, that isn't us, that's a stereotype, that's clumsy, we're better than that.' 'But actually, it's a mirror with a big gold frame around it, it's a beautiful mirror with cherubs and scimitars and Arabic inscriptions and all sorts of different Asiatic and European filigrees represented on it. It's a wonderful book and I think we're very lucky to have it.'
Fifteen years ago on this day you entered the world and I was lucky in that my arms were the first ones to hold you properly. Even today, each time you decide you want to burrow yourself into me, all I want to do is hold you closer and longer. On that very first day, you would only sleep when nestled next to me and each time, the nurse would move you into the crib, you would howl in protest, and selfish me, would smile and insist that you be returned immediately to my side. In another three years, I won't be able to hold you at my side anymore. You must live a life all your own, but anytime you want a hug, there will always be one waiting for you right here. And this old heart will hold you forever.
Happy birthday, my love. @zara_k__
"Though we become hysterical at the thought that someone might bomb us, bombs that we explode elsewhere, in little countries far away, are just theater, of small consequence, another public performance of our White House, the event factory." - Paul Theroux, Dark Star Safari
I'm just a few pages in but loving this one.
The book club reading has been postponed from the18th to the 25th of September at the Fairview Library. The time remains the same:1:30 p.m.
Looking forward to seeing you there.
I am listening to Beautiful Losers on audio during my walks.
Years back, I heard someone interview Leonard Cohen on CBC radio, and I found myself wanting to read his work, but also wondering what it would be like to be loved by a man like Cohen, to have the full force of all that emotion and sensuality turned upon oneself. I will never know the answer to the second, but what a revelation Beautiful Losers is turning out to be. .
I was expecting Michael Ondaatje, M.G.Vassanji type of writing. They are both Canadian writers of an older generation, but I was way off the mark. Cohen writes like no one that I have read before. He is bold to the point of being fearless. Beautiful Losers is not the slow, deliberate work of an old man. It is something a young man would write. Someone young and defiant. Someone who tells himself that he doesn't give a rat's ass. And I love it. The vulgarity should probably make me turn three different shades of red, but it makes me chuckle instead. I thought my inner thoughts were scandalous. Cohen makes me feel like an innocent.
My favourite of all Leonard Cohen songs is "You want it Darker." I like things dark and broody, and that song delivers on both. As for his voice, don't even get me started. Imagine him talking to you in that sexy rasp. Am I getting a bit carried away out here? Fine, don't imagine. I'll do all the imagining needed for all of us. .
And @mksreading, move over. I'm heading over to join you in that circle of Cohen worshippers. And to think, that all through my teenage years, when other girls had crushes on rock stars, I was busy day dreaming about the pirate from Daphne du Maurier's Frenchman's Creek, only to now fall for a singer/poet/writer who died two years back.
I don't want to know what it would be like to be loved by the likes of Leonard Cohen. I 'd rather write like him instead.
"Once she returned to the Mongolian camp, the dog refused to leave her side. It was as though it adopted her, a lost child returned, her sprit broken from the wilderness. Its favourite resting place is the top of her hands quietly folded in her lap. Her bony knuckles poke the soft folds beneath its muzzle. Its eyes roll upward as though to check on her well being. She sends her neck downward and gazes back into the dark puddles, which blink each time she does." -Mary Lynn Bracht, White Chrysanthemum
I feel empty. Dehydrated by the amount of tears I have shed while reading White Chrysanthemum. I chose this quote because everything else in this book, simply broke my heart. My better half will tell you that I cry over just about everything, but who would not cry thinking of the fifty thousand to two hundred thousand Korean women and girls who were used as "comfort women" for Japanese soldiers during Japan's colonization of Korea.
The book is lovely. Please don't let me put you off with my crying. I am an idiot. My apologies.
Has anyone ever noticed that the word woman contains the word man within it? "We dive in the sea like our mothers and grandmothers and great- grandmothers have for hundreds of years. This gift is our pride, for we answer to no one, not our fathers, our husbands, our older brothers, even the Japanese soldiers during the war. We catch our own food, make our own money, and survive with the harvest given to us from the sea. We live in harmony with this world; how many men teachers can say the same? It is our money that pays his salary. Without us 'field hands' he would starve." - Mary Lynn Bracht, White Chrysanthemum
I just read this passage in White Chrysanthemum, and while it is specific to Korean haenyeo who dive for a living, it made me think of the line of women I come from, and the work they did and the work I still do in giving care to those around me. I cook. I clean. I garden. I nurture as the generations of women I come from did before me. .
Yet, these skills that have been passed down the generations are belittled. You are only of value if you earn. The implication being that you are only of worth if you are like a man. .
Well, I am no man. I am a woman. I can earn. But I can also do all the things women have traditionally done and I do them well. And yes, this fills me with pride.
Even in regards to sex, men talk of fucking women in loud, ugly voices, but hold on for a minute there; when you lie with us, it is we who hold you within our bodies. Just like your mother held you within her belly before letting you out into this world. .
Just the other day, a jackass from Bell Canada turned up at my door asking for the man of the house, and when informed that my man wasn't home, he missed the irratated tone of my voice and insisted: When will he be back?
"Never," I said, closing the door on his face. "He will never be back." .
When Mr.Man did return thirty minutes later, he laughed at hearing this one.