Monday, April 22, 2013

Old Friends and New

“These are the quicksilver moments of my childhood I cannot remember entirely. Irresistible and emblematic, I can recall them only in fragments and shivers of the heart.”
― Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides
“The fruit tasted foreign but indigenous, like sunlight a tree had changed through patience.”
― Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides  

“Anyone who knows me well must understand and be sympathetic to my genuine need to be my own greatest hero. It is not a flaw of character; it is a catastrophe.”
― Pat Conroy, The Lords of Discipline 

“I wanted to become the seeker, the aroused and passionate explorer, and it was better to go at it knowing nothing at all, always choosing the unmarked bottle, always choosing your own unproven method, armed with nothing but faith and a belief in astonishment.”
― Pat Conroy, The Lords of Discipline   
Pat Conroy.  Oh, I would lay down my life for this man, I swear it.  Whenever I read one of his books (as I have, over and over...all of them), I cannot help but read the words aloud.  They feel good on my tongue.  His sentences are beautifully constructed, vivid, LIVING things and I want to BATHE in them.
Seriously, read those quotes aloud.  Slowly, with a Southern drawl, please.  Don't they just make you want to cry or kick your legs or...just SAY THEM AGAIN?
There is nothing on this earth better than a good book coupled with a glass of wine and an afternoon of nothing on the schedule.  Oh, heck, give me the WHOLE NIGHT.  I crave good books the way a crackhead longs for the rock.  And Pat Conroy?  Holy smokes, that man can play a string of words like Yo Yo Ma on the fiddle. 

I am not a snob when it comes to fiction.  I read it all....the good, the bad...AND the ugly.  And the BEAUTY of all of it is that I DO NOT REMEMBER any of them.  I can be SURPRISED by the ending of a book for at least the first two times I read it.  I can always tell you if I liked the book or not but I can't tell you anything about the plot or the characters.  At all.  Same thing with movies.  I don't remember them.  At all.  Unless I watch them at least twice.  I've watched It's Complicated, Eat Pray Love and Letters from Juliet about TWELVE TIMES EACH over the last 6 months.  And they never get old.  I'm starting to remember them now, though, so I think I'll move on to a few new titles.  But those make me I might stick with them a while longer.

I've read Gone with the Wind at least 10 times.  I've read The Lords of Discipline easily 6 or 7 times.  All of Stephen King's books (with the exception of the Dark Tower series), I have read at least twice each.  Well, the good ones anyway.  A few of them he missed the mark on.  The Stand?  Perhaps a dozen times.  There are many others...many old friends that I return to year after year even as I meet new friends like Tell No One (which I remember really liking but couldn't tell you the first thing about it) or Gone Girl (which I DO remember a little about because it disturbed the HECK out of me).  Don't even get me started on the Harry Potter series.

This all began tonight because I couldn't find my dog-eared paperback of The Lords of Discipline.  I felt a little desperate looking for it because it's almost like an old friend gone missing.  And, for some reason, it just doesn't feel RIGHT that I download it onto my Nook.  That's MY COPY of The Lords.  I kinda just need to hold it and smell the old paper and feel it in my hands.'s missing. 

I may wander down to the used bookstore before I cave and download it.  Maybe someone else gave up their copy (as if!).  I need it to be old with yellowed pages.

And I need a little Pat Conroy to lull me off to sleep.   

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