Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Things the books have taught me

As I was working today (and ruing what can only now be called a mild form of dyslexia - or at least a mild form of failing on Thursday afternoons) I had in my head To Kill A Mockingbird.
I can't remember any lines from it normally. I last read it about 5 years ago, and it was a grudgingly-read book. Don't attack; I had to read it for school, so of course I was going to not be pleased. But as I danced through tables, trying very hard not to spill cappuccinos and lattes and mugs of flat whites, I had Scout Finch's voice in my head.
Actually, wait, it was more Calpurnia's voice.
They became quiet, and I knew they had all been served. Calpurnia returned and put my mother's heavy silver pitcher on a tray. "This coffee pitcher's a curiosity," she murmured, "they don't make 'em these days." 
"Can I carry it in?" 
"If you be careful and don't drop it. Set it down at the end of the table by Miss Alexandra. Down there by the cups'n things. She's gonna pour." 
I tried pressing my behind against the door as Calpurnia had done, but the door didn't budge. Grinning, she held it open for me. "Careful now, it's heavy. Don't look at it and you won't spill it."
I don't have the resolve to not look at what I'm carrying. I fret over it, like it's a newborn or something, and if I spill it I begin stepping slower, trying to glide over the floor.

There are times in my head where all I think about are the books I've read, and from these I remember things. I remember the first novel my mother read me. When she finished it, she shut it and said, "What did you learn?"
Dutifully I recited the novel's plot, but she shook her head. "No, not that, what did you learn?"
And it was essentially that gifts don't always come with bows on top, a card taped on, and wrapped in glitzy paper whilst costing a mint. Gifts come as people, as situations, as the summer's day in the middle of a rainy winter where you're craving sunlight and your body's missing that Vitamin D.

I read Ruth last night, as in the Biblical Ruth, after reading a string of very bad romance novels (Mills and Boon-esque publishers clearly don't look for writing talent). The study book I'm reading at the moment recommended it, saying it was a fantabulous romance.
Um, heck yes, and lesson learned there... there's a big difference between character and sex appeal, and there's a big difference between love and lust (or I wanna get in yo pants syndrome). And in each pair one is far more win than the other and leads to awesome.

As I am in pain now, I shan't continue. Rather I will get tea and banana bread and pretend to be a student. I do a very bad job of being one.

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