I’ve approached the blank page, wincing a little as I type. It’s been months and months since I’ve last posted anything – mea culpa – and, in the intervening time, there have been so many worthy books (though, as usual, not always the ones I expected and not nearly, nearly as many as I’d like). There’s been some communing with the Beat generation, a meditative cycle through a single season in wildfire country (utterly fascinating!), a double helping of Milan Kundera, teenage love on Long Island, an absurd, hilarious chronicle of life in a cubicle, and a foray into aviation history, to name a few. There was even a curious, unexplained stretch of time where I went without reading any fiction at all, which led me to feel oddly lost and aimless, and somewhat like I’d gone for weeks without eating a single green vegetable.
But, thankfully, the lapse was brief, and I broke the listless streak with a good dose of early David Mitchell – if there’s anyone to get you enticed into fiction again, David Mitchell’s the man to do it – followed quickly by the sharp, heartbreaking Edith Wharton, who seems to be in vogue lately. And, of course, there’s a whole new list of Potential Things to Come, which in its yet unformed and nebulous state might include some James Joyce, Haruki Murakami, Hilary Mantel, William James, and who knows what else.
In the meantime, do try and read Fire Season, if you get a chance. I was enthralled – not just because I have a cousin who is a fire lookout – by the beauty of the writing, landscape and experience. Would that we all could meditate on life and purpose, in solitude and nature, as Philip Connors has.