Goodbye Western reaches, frontier land of my nation, and home of the last 10 years. A recent cross-country move has set this writer down on New York's Long Island in the borough of Brooklyn. The English language has slightly changed, accents abound, and tongues from many foreign places surround me on the streets and in the parks. There are as many Halal food carts on street corners as there are notable and historic American sites: Grand Central Station, the main New York Public Library, the Chrysler Building, Union Square, Central Park - these are mythic and real places. It is often humbling to accord this truth some harmony in my mind.
The air, when it is not filled with food smells, is a dry and crisp Atlantic cold. We (my lady and I) have already walked through many neighborhoods between waiting for the vacuum of a subway train's arrival. Wind and heavy rains threatened our arrival but have now abated. Our sublet is warm and the roommates are Swiss and practice composing their music. Giving my knees a rest, I have but three books to my name and they are as follows:
Bollingen: An Adventure in Collecting the Past by William McGuire
Vertigo by W. G. Sebald
The Diamond in the Window by Jane Langton
In upcoming posts, I shall note more of my new surroundings from as objective a point of view as possible while noting the impact these works have on my thoughts and presence. Books are curiously the bane and the bastion of knowledge - we hold them before us as guardsmen of our thoughts and also use them as the tool to unlock or unhinge the tightened bars of our ignorance. May we read only what we have set before us and not a jot more or less! I have no wish to die under a tower of books, but until the boxes arrive which contain my small library, three couldn't do more than stub my toe.
Until the next transmission, readers.