Monday, February 28, 2005

Pilgrim's withered wreath of flowers

I read a lot. If it is possible for reading to be an addiction, then you could probably call me a reading addict.

If I like it, I read it again. Maybe several times. There are a few special books I have read so often that they have become old and treasured friends.

Alice in Wonderland was the first special book; and I read it for the first time when I was in the first grade. I found it mysterious and delightful from my very first reading...and I'd guess I've read it in excess of a hundred times. I like it that much.

A line from one of the poems, though, suddenly took shape some time during my preteen years, after I had read Pilgrim's Progress:

"A childish memory take, and with a gentle hand,
lay it where childhood dreams are twined in Memory's mystic band;
like Pilgrim's withered wreath of flowers, plucked in a faroff land."

Those lines always make me think that each lovely childhood memory is a talisman against the difficult choices and situations we all have to face as adults. And it helps, helps a lot, to know that I have that at my back; those lovely memories and joys that will always be there, my inner strength, always there, always strong.

14 comments:

Third Degree Nurse said...

That is so sweet. I remembered that the girls in Little Women read Pilgrim's Progress...books were a great solace to me during my childhood and they give me great joy and new insights today.

Gone Away said...

There are some books that remain a treasure all one's life, just as you say. For me, CS Lewis' Narnian books, that I first read when I was about six years old, have been lifelong treasures and I still read them occasionally today. Childhood remains a part of us (as Harry so ably demonstrates in his writing) and it forms a core within us that is the essential part that makes us who we are.

I have felt guilty for not commenting on your photograph blog, Jodie. The truth is, I did not know what to say (what, for once Gone is speechless? :O). What I love about the internet is the mystery of it; and the fact that I can imagine people as I want them to be. I suppose I'm saying that I have learned to take little note of outward appearance. Over the years I have seen many faces and thought I knew what the person beneath the appearance was, only to be disappointed. I'd much rather know a person through what they say and do.

Jodie said...

No, no guilt allowed on my blog! Pixie the wonderdog has quite enough for all of us, poor thing.

The people I like and enjoy and love might as well be movie stars because they are the most beautiful and handsome people around to me -- I've come to realize that is a gift.

keeefer said...

aaaahhhhhh books they keep us happy through those long summer evenings and, with a well placed match, warm through the cold winter ones. I am of course jesting, i couldnt bring myself to burn a book....well unless it was written by geoffrey archer. Personally i am a big fan of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett. When i was younger i really enjoyed Kurt Vonegut JR. I read Alice in wonderland when i was about 12 and found it very satisfying. I recently read a book called Lazy Bones, it is the first book to make me cry and i recommend it to anyone. And ive just noticed im rambling, but i love to read and get through 1-2 books a week.

keeefer said...

do you have any links to your paintings Jodie?

Ned said...

I too, have books that I have re-read many times through the years. Poetry, especially for me, leaves me with little bits and pieces, little phrases, thoughts and observations that so often present themselves to my mind in situations of everyday life. I don't know what I would do without TS Eliot to lend me the pithy phrase now and again. What we read becomes part of who we are, and who we are drives our choices in what we read.

Rhodester said...

Jodie- Such well written thoughts! I've bookmarked your blog and am sticking around, you're so darned eloquent.

Gone Away- Disney is currently making a film version of "The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe". Not animated, but full blown special effects where the Aslan character is rendered by CGI along with all of the other mystical beings that will interact with the live actors. They just wrapped up filming in New Zealand.

More here--> http://www.narnia.com/

Gone Away said...

Sounds very interesting, Dave; I shall take a look. Thanks. I do wish they'd do something other than The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for once though - it must have been filmed hundreds of times. Imagine a decent filming of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader!

keeefer said...

In this day and age, where Hollywood is remaking remakes of good films do you think it is any coincidence they pick a series of books that can run off a multitude of sequels Gone? I imagine they will make their way through the whole series if the first one is successful, just look at the Potter phenomena (irritating git that he is)the 'kids' film market is becoming more lucrative than the main stream movie industry

Jodie said...

I think part of the adult film industry's problem are the seemingly obligatory love scenes in so many movies. It's too weird to take your teenage kids to those, even if they're old enough, a little weird to watch that with a casual date, and you sure can't watch those with your parents. And the violence is so over-the-top that it's extremely yucky.

keeefer said...

I must confess i enjoy mindless violence in films (well the right films) but i see your point, Hollywood releases few (if any) truly great films nowadays that do not rely upon nudity or action to fill the standard 90 minutes.
I think 'Adult films' in Oklahoma are different to the UK :)

keeefer said...

I must confess i enjoy mindless violence in films (well the right films) but i see your point, Hollywood releases few (if any) truly great films nowadays that do not rely upon nudity or action to fill the standard 90 minutes.
I think 'Adult films' in Oklahoma are different to the UK :)

Rhodester said...

Gone Away- Yes, the entire series of The Chronicles of Narnia is planned, "Lion,," is just the first one. I know it's been done before, but not REALLY REALLY well with a HUGE budget. See the website at the link I gave you above for more info.

They're approaching it kind of like "Lord of the Rings", but doing seven instead of three, so it's quite the undertaking.

Harry said...

(thumbs through a dog-eared copy of Mad magazine)

One of my sister's exes was quizzed by my mom just before the marriage. "Do you like to read?" He snarled that he had started a book once, but "Didn't see no damn use of it." And she never saw any use for him or his family, after that.