I just sneaked into the house with my latest bag of books. My husband is watching the news on the couch in the living room and so I safely smuggled my new treasures, unseen, out to my studio behind the house.
What did I bring home this time? Not much, really. A couple of music books, a folio of transcripts of interviews conducted by Bill Moyers with a variety of interesting folks, and an old American Home magazine.
I didn't pay much for any of them either. They were all bought for a pittance at the local Salvation Army.
I still have a copy of a letter my grandfather wrote to my father when he was a young, unmarried man, first arrived in this Tennessee backwater called Oak Ridge. He was worried that my father would not be able to find good reading material in Tennessee. After describing the Emil Zola book he had just finished reading (in which he mentions that Emil Zola's description of the New World Man reminded him of his then 21 year old son, destined to one day become my father) he wrote, 'Remember, son, money is never wasted on good books.'
I quote my grandfather frequently to my husband as I search book shelves in thrift stores and pick up old volumes at flea markets. His reply is always, "You waste money if you don't read them. You have more books than you will EVER read."
Perhaps....but perhaps not.
I remember when I was reading Marcus Aurelius and felt that I knew that good Roman soul, now gone for nearly 2000 years, better than most people I will ever talk with in the flesh. I count Marcus Aurelius, as I do so many other great writers (and composers!) as a true friend. When I buy a book, it is because I have a sense that the author might become, even from the realm of another age, a cherished friend and soul mate.
It's true that I have too much stuff. Heck, we're drowning in stuff. We live in the house where my husband grew up, so when we moved in, the house was already full of his parents and brother's stuff. We brought all of our and our children's stuff and when my parents died, we brought a lot of their stuff over here too.
Our house is way too crowded. I understand that on several levels, less could be more.....more room to breath and less stuff to clean! But I'm one of those people who can't live without music, LOTS of music. And I am happiest when I am surrounded by books.
Less is really more
Let it go if you don't use it
Except, of course, for books
They're friends and so is music
Be well and good luck. MM
copyright 2012, Martha Maria