Over the weekend we had a family movie party and watched Kon-Tiki, a depiction of the true story of Thor Heyerdahl who sailed from Peru to Polynesia in 1947 on a balsa wood raft. The only problem is, everyone went to bed and left me and Izzy to watch a bunch of bronzed Norwegians clamber about a dubiously seaworthy craft on shark infested waters.
But that's not why I'm staring.
I'm staring because on that 101 day voyage over the deep blue seas there was one particular sailor who kept a collection of books in his sleeping quarters and whiled away entire afternoons just...reading.
I miss that, dear reader. I miss those days when I could be lost in a pile of books without ten different ways to demand my attention: no texts to hasten time, no voicemails or emails...nothing. I miss the days when books were the authority, when you couldn't just whip out your phone and google Thor Heyerdahl, you had to go to the library and look him up in the encyclopedia under h.
And if you wanted to take a book home you had to write your name on an index card, wait for the librarian to peruse you over her reading glasses, then stamp it with her due date stamp. But first you had to present a card, a library card, and weren't you so terribly pleased to be in the possession of one?!
There's something about that memory which romances the living daylights out of me.
Beyond that, there was a cousin birthday party which incited a flurry of gift making.
A tiny cookbook with real recipes! What could be better?
The birthday girl was tickled green.
I often tell my girls nothing makes me happier than to watch them enjoy one another's company. But seeing cousins get along so well comes pretty close.
There was also lots of volleyball over the weekend and the chance to see a favorite coach.
Tin Lizzie, against all odds, still lives. True to her name, she is a sturdy character who keeps on running despite the occasional broken part. Her little yellow antennae are no longer to be seen, for example, leaving me to conclude they must have actually fallen off.
It makes me sad, dear reader. It really does.
Something about her resilience, her spunk, the way we've settled into a comfortable understanding (oh, please let it be an understanding...please don't let it only be me thinking there's one): I just want her to make it. I want her to live.
And then there is the desert. There's always the desert. It's been lonely out there lately, empty and grey...sometimes I wonder if I should take a break from it, as well.
But if I get rid of all my escapes, my circuitous routes, then where would I be?
Is there another raft stocked with books, waiting to take me on a voyage across the open seas?
Maybe, but I don't think so.
This is my raft, the good ship Tollipop, and the desert is my ocean. And I'm writing a story which I can lose myself in for entire afternoons, whether it becomes a book or not.
Possibly not as romantic as a crew of bronzed Norwegians striking out across the Pacific, but then you can't always quantify these things scientifically, dear reader. You can't measure the depths of someone's passion by the leagues of the sea, nor tell by the way she drives carpool the degree to which she may be wild at heart.
You can only smile and exchange pleasantries, hoping for each person there is a raft, an ocean, and a pile of books out there somewhere, awaiting the luxury of losing oneself for an entire afternoon.