I am currently reading Karl Ove Knausgaard’s Autumn (part of what’s considered (‘The Seasons Quartet’), it’s a book of many short chapters describing relatively everyday things – premise being it’s a ‘letter’ to his as yet unborn daughter, due in a few months. In the chapter titled ‘Beds’ he writes:
“The bed is placed in the bedroom, which is often the innermost room in the house or apartment, and in two-story houses the bedroom is usually on the upper floor. This is so because we are never as vulnerable as when we are asleep, we lie defenseless in our beds at night without knowing what is going on around us, and to withdraw from sight at such a time, to conceal ourselves from other animals and human beings, is an instinct that runs deep in us.”…
…“But if it were possible to see everyone who has retired to their beds in a great city at night, in London, New York, or Tokyo for example, if we imagined that the buildings were made of glass and that all the rooms were lit, the sight would be deeply unsettling. Everywhere there would be people lying motionless in their cocoons, in room after room for miles on end, and not just at street level, along roads and crossroads, but even up in the air, separated by plateaus, some of them twenty-meters above ground, some fifty, some a hundred. We would be able to see millions of immobile people who have withdrawn from others in order to lie in a coma throughout the night.”
My takeaway of that is regardless of race, creed, religion, gender or best-lineup-of-van-halen background, we are all vulnerable in so many similar ways – and that itself, is singularly unifying. Thanks for that, K.O.
After a stint of trying to read only one book at a time, I’m finding now that reading several books at once and sprinkling the head-brew with frequent doses of solitude outside is producing favorable results. I’m reading the Knausgaard intermittently as the chapters are very short and one can be absorbed within 10 minutes. I have it on the phone for quick hits here and there. I’ve already read through the whole thing once, but am going to keep re-reading it until – you guessed it – winter – when I’ll start Winter. I just finished reading Brad Warner’s book, Letters to a Dead Friend About Zen – it’s excellent and as I told Titus, reading Brad always makes me want to go back and re-read all his stuff.
Finally I’ve started on the brick that is Dune by Frank Herbert – I mentioned to the Mrs. that I’d been reading William Gibson sci-fi novels and enjoying them so she got this paperback last Christmas. I’m currently like, 1/37th of the way in. Prolly take me all winter.
Should be an interesting enough cocktail.
Also, the latest Brandon Semenuk is not-of-this-earth. The manual into the ‘payoff’ (didn’t want to spoil it) at the end made me laugh out loud. H/T to Stevil for the post.
Read books. Ride bikes.