“I Keep buying books.”
That is a good way to start this one off.Bookism.
In 23 hours and 46 minutes, i will have stayed put in New Orleans for an entire year. Not due to any residency in particular that demanded such a commitment, but instead by a more laid-back grace of God that has allowed me to not only live a little, but also figure out by experience the best way that i do research for the tales he calls me to tell.
For me the best thing about New Orleans is not the music.It is not even the food. It is the the energy of the secondhand booksellers. The diamonds they collect and present out of their coffers with the same gleam in their eyes to give as i have in mines at finally tracking down this & that obscure volume has made me over on many a day, utterly renewed.
I could get all rhapsodic, all “New Orleans is a city where poets sit on the curbs of cobblestone lanes with old-fashioned typewriters that sing as you get to the end of each line, across the road from bohemian violinists and trumpet players, allowing the passerby to pick their poisons,” but it’s beside the point.
I feel like this year here, one that has been full of passion, quiet defiance, pomp and subtle circumstance has allowed something magical to blossom in me, an understanding of myself in time and space that i hope to God only continues to evolve as long as he allows me to grow older. I am in love with myself in different ways than I’ve had the space to be. And a symptom of that love, a tangible marker of that love…Is that i Keep buying books.
Now for the record, I had slowed down. So far in April i have bought only four. There is something fantastic about buying for one dollar a book that you know contains the secrets to the universes we’ve lost access to as a culture. So much so that one vendor today actually asked where I’d been, while another, for the second selection in a row has whistled something along the lines of “Oooh Now we’re getting into the out there stuff.” But the clue to the deeper side of it that i am just getting now is that this weird, wonderful set of people have been the markers along this researching road, which could be a lonely one if not for the teleporting into realm after realm thanks to the authors responsible for the words you’re taking in.
New Orleans is a place i not only get to be a writer[ still awed at the chapters that Have been birthed here], but more importantly, it has been a place where i have been able to go about the business of being a writer with astonishing effectiveness in hindsight. There is so much that goes on in creating a book that has nothing to do with writing a chapter. The chapters produced so far for Exile are just gravy to the fact that i can sit my ass down and edit here. It has been a place that I can slow down and let myself gravitate to the food my characters need me to feed on in a literary sense as well as a literal sense that makes it easier to understand the pictures they are painting for me.
It’s been hard at times. And it has been great, and even horrible occasionally, but even with the things i have had to ignore, the spirit of happiness that has kept my “kids” joyfully around me is something i hope to find more of, and delve more deeply as my own story plays out as these books find their ways into the world via me. And those things that have nothing to do with the books, but that can bolster you so much can sometimes be so small. Even as small as a feather. or wings that you recall from lives lived, spread across someone who knows just when to remind you in surreal ways that he has your back, and to stay positive no matter what,& let God do what he’s going to do with the story of your life. I never thought i could stay in one place for a year again. And this was a gift. That had to be fought for at times, celebrated at others.