Small and White, Clean and Bright

It was 4:00 p.m. and I was tired.

I laid down on my bed, knowing that I would be unable to sleep.  After all, I hadn’t put any drugs in my system for over 12 hours.  I laid there for awhile, enjoying the cool sheets, the sun streaming in the window, the ceiling fan humming, and the company of my Kizz.  Just being mindful of my surroundings, if you will.  Until the book I am currently reading caught my eye.

Ethan Canin’s Emperor of the Air is perfect for me — I am in a holding pattern and daily life has become stale, repetitive, boring, pointless.  It is not his most recent work, but is rather his first work of fictional short stories…written in the late 1980’s.  I’m not sure what he’s been up to since then, other than having read another book of his written in the early 1990’s some time ago, but he makes the simple beautiful. 

This book and this author are special to me because the books came from my Dad.  He has a vast library (no, really…VAST LIBRARY) of books in his basement and introduced me to Ethan Canin with one of his works from the early 1990’s.  No, I don’t remember the name but I bet Dad will.  The first I asked for.  The second showed up in my mailbox.  Without me asking.

I read for awhile and simply breathed in the smell of the book.  I’m sure Dad bought it a long time ago, and you can see it has aged gracefully.  No broken spines, no dog-eared pages, no coffee stains.  Dad takes care of his books.  The only signs it was published when I was eight years old are the fragile crackle of the pages and that wonderful “old book smell.”

After reading and getting out of bed, I noticed I was humming Edelweiss, a song that Dad sang to us when we were really young and no feelings had been hurt.  And here in my house, with Edelweiss in my head, I felt safe and hopeful.

Thank you, Dad.


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