The Bookmark

This is an pretty old post from my blog, which has been preserved in case its content is of any interest. You might want to go back to the homepage to see some more recent stuff.

The second book is nearly finished now, the one that not so long ago I thought I had lost the knack of reading. For all my worries, I had not lost the knack of reading, or of filling my mind and body and soul with all that I read.

An old map serves as a bookmark, chosen at random from the detritus that collected next to my bed in untidier times. It’s a tourist guide to a place in which we were not tourists, a place of oil and dust and quiet optimism that one day the tourists might come.

It seems like an appropriate thing to mark a book with. Both are, in their own way, fundamental to human nature. The map takes a world, wild and free, and makes it small and neat and understandable; the book takes a story, wild and free, and does the same. It tames it, but just a little, just enough that in the reader’s head the spark of the wild story still lives.

February blows cold outside the window, and I am tired and old. But inside, in the warm, a bookmark remembers the place where stories live again.

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