teddy roosevelt and his dog skip reading together
books came to me thanks to my stepfather claudio. i was a very sickly child having spent most of my childhood bedridden with every ears, nose and throat disease in the annals of medicine. i even had to have a blood transfusion once (my grandfather was the blood donor) on the verge of death from "foot and mouth disease" a very painful blistering of the tongue and throat. so my father (i have never considered him a stepfather) thought of books as a way to keep me entertained as i lay convalescing. i still remember my first enid blyton adventures and all the ladybug books that taught me basic history and my first crafts. then came meatier books about the cuban revolution (my father was a radical thinker back then). i took in what i wanted, discarded the rest never allowing myself to be totally brain washed. i only craved for knowledge which would later give form to my own views and understandings. i relished in adventure when i read reasure Island for the first time and dreamt of building my own house around a tree.
i have moved countless times in my life, even across continents and beleive it or not, my books, being the heaviest to pack and pay for transport, were the top priority on my list of things to take with me o si o si as they say in chile. parting with them is out o the question even if i never read them again. they are like people in the room with me, they have life and whn i feel a bit lost and confused, my bookshelf is where i turn to for a surprise uplifting boost in morale. it's that books always hold an answer for me, a perspective, another way of assessing life as a whole, the umbilical chord to a collective consciousness. from poet to strategist, depending n my mood, i can always find my way back to my center with a book. awareness, enlightenment, messages, answers to questions, new questions, inner turmoil, a soliloquious debate, a never ending quest for truth which is never absolute or all encompassing are the priceless gifts in books.
from an early age i could never compartmentalize thinking. i could never adhere to one line of thought philosophically which reveals to me that from the get go i was holistic in my viewpoint. nothing can be separated from anythting, everything is tied together in one big map of existence, subcultures within subcultures, all legitimate in our search and will to survive and co-exist. therefore my ample mindedness, my understanding of every imaginable "sin" Jesus gave his life for, every stream of thought.
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand." ......once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always."
i think children's books are more for adults than for children sometimes. i didn't get the message of this book until i had actually become real myself. i had to go through those motions described in the conversation.
i kept falling for them more and more in school too as the BBC lectured us on British history over the loudspeakers. i was fascinated by history, the bayeauz tapestry being my first recollection of my love for creativity. culture summoned me, implored me to make use of my insatiable curiosity to know all. over the years my insatiability remains the same,so much so that i tend to always be a step ahead of myself. everything is interesting to me from sociology to genetics to quantum physics although i have to admit i am lego at certain mathematical theories no matter how appealing they may be. hawkins and einstein are out of my league but that doesn't mean i'd give anything to understand at their level. i sit in awe when steven hawkins speaks at one of his lectures. i am drawn to such disparate personalities as john adams and wayne dyer, deeprak chopra and noam chomsky, agatha christie and pearl s. buck as well as professor claudio veliz and arnold toynbee.
and then there's the art of book making, binding, paper selection, font selection, cover design and prologues. i hold books in my hands and ponder on every aspect that went into their realization.
and the endless quotes, lines from poems, seeds and food for thought on every level.
"don't cry for anything that can't cry for you" (sofia loren) is one of my favorites as she refers to not cryting over material things although in the case of books i must make an exception. nothing compares to the physical feeling of a book in my hands. i fall asleep with one on my pillow every day! i would probably begin to go mad without them and my life would literally become an unbearable lightness of being.