Wednesday, 2 March 2011


Am I the only one who holes herself up in the library (or the back seat on the train, in the comfy chair in the living room, inside a wardrobe with a flashlight), with that yellowed, dog-eared copy of her favorite book that's about to fall apart, and then gets to (you guessed it) the penultimate page and then skips to the last sentence before it's time? Like it's going to change this time? Am I really the only one who does that?

If I am, well. I have to admit that is one of my forbidden pleasures. And before you get any funny ideas, my other one is staying up past 10:30pm. Reading.

At Grosvenor Museum, Chester, October 2008

Nothing really showcases the worth of a book, the perfection of a story, or the skill of an author better than the moment you arrive at that penultimate page. That's when, come hell or high water, it is just you and the book and the rest of the world disappears. A hot air balloon could land on the ground in front of you and you wouldn't notice. It's the next to last page that will take you, racing heart and all, through the denouement and into, alas, that moment when you turn the page and read the last sentence. Ah, the last sentence. Like a final destination. So glorious, so vague, so open-ended. Terrific. Mmm.

A story can be cyclical or spiral (like the picture above) or it can be straight and linear (like below)... but it still gets you somewhere new, and when you arrive, you're glad -  it's exactly what you thought, it's nothing like you imagined, and then you are melancholy because it's over.  Like the last sip of a good cup of coffee. That final lilting chord of your favorite song.

C'mon, let's all sigh together. *Sigh*

Spooky path in Chester, October 2008

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