For years and years I have enjoyed expressing my thoughts, observations and experiences visually by using artists’ paints and drawing tools onto paper, canvas and journals. Some months ago an artist friend of mine encouraged me to join her memoir writing group…so I did. After writing and sharing with friends a few short stories, I felt comfortable and excited that I was able to construct and arrange words to create a few paragraphs about my past experiences. I was hooked. Each month we select a topic and the topic for February was talking with an unanimated object. It was a fun learning experience to discover the thoughts that could flow out of my imagination! I felt really pleased with the result of my story so I am sharing it with you. Maybe some of you late night readers will wonder what stories are shared throughout the shelves during the dark quiet night.
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Ouch! Be careful, my cover will tear! Move over! I’m getting squashed. How does she expect to squeeze you into that narrow space! Where did you come from anyhow? Where in the world have you been!…..your odor is stifling strong! You smell like a dark, damp, dusty old closet and I have to be this close to you?
Okay, okay…..I’ll pull myself together a bit tighter to get a place, but that’s it. My cover is hard, you know; not soft with dog ears as you have. it’s not my fault, she keeps pushing me further into the shelf and it’s becoming more and more uncomfortable. There’s little air in here, you know, to circulate around us. I’m new here you know, so what are the norms? Are we destined to be unnoticed, packed into these shelves to become brittle and aromatic ancient tales?
Thanks, that helps? What’s your story that you can share with us all?
I originally lived in a large warm space with lots of room that allowed me to stretch out and display my attractive cover in horizontal or vertical positions. The former owner treated me with loving hands, slowly reading and turning my pages with visual images plus descriptive, detailed and wonderful use of words, while all the time smiling. Then, that interaction between us suddenly stopped. The owner no longer approached the bookshelf. So, I just quietly sat on the shelf becoming dusty and grimy plus picking up unwanted odors. It was a long wait before hands again started to reach toward the book shelves. But, suddenly someone started pulling all of us story tellers with knowledgable and colorful information off the shelves and placed into boxes. Next, we were being removed from the boxes and pushed into another shelf in an unfamiliar room full of other objects and people. Then I saw an arm reach toward my direction, pick me up, open the cover and began carefully turning my pages, smiled then put me into a bag. And, now, here I am.
Let me tell you, so you’ll know what to expect from your new owner while living among us. It’s a good resting spot and she gently removes us to enjoy our stories, while we get to stretch out and be refreshed. Sometimes, I watch her expression as she selects one of us to read. First, her eyes scan horizontally across each of her precious books, making a decision as to which book might interest her. My words shout out several times to attract her, but at times, I go unnoticed. She looks at me! I think she’s going to pull me out, but her hand selects another book, very near, full of rich colorful and expressive paintings by an artist who impresses her.
I know she loves each of us on these shelves just by watching her as she settles a book on her lap then opens it to begin slowly moving her eyes across each of the pages, stopping frequently to observe the lovely paintings and words. She’ll sit for hours in that comfy chair next to us and the window so she can easily reach us. Sometimes while reading, she’ll fall asleep in her chair. Don’t try to shout out to awaken her; she’ll not hear you. She’s unpredictable in her behavior. Sometimes during the dark morning hours, I’ll hear faint shuffling noises as her bare feet head toward the kitchen. She’ll attempt to warm a cup of milk in the microwave without turning on the light so she doesn’t wake up the man of the house. Finally, she grabs her hot milk with honey in it, and with careful stepping in the dark, heads for that favorite chair to get settled before turning on the overhead lamp. Then, she’ll spend about one and half hours enjoying one of her books before placing it back in between us and turning out the light.
The cool night is dark, and, again, the beginnings of silent whisperings of expressive words can be heard throughout the shelves.