I believe that I have previously mentioned I have lived in 17 cities, both internationally and domestically. Majority of the cities being domestic. That is a lot of instances in which I have been uprooted. Maybe that is a wrong way of phrasing it as I did the majority of that uprooting to myself. For almost all of the cities I chose to leave and arrive. I have been the captain of my ship. And I have liked to sail far and wide and often. Ok. enough with that analogy. I get motion sickness and it doesn’t work well for me. I do have that song in my head by Alice Merton called No Roots. With all my city moving, it may often feel as if I have no roots. But it is far from the case.
First off, New York will always be my home. Always. I write love letters to it quite often.
Throughout most of moves and my last five cross-country road trips as part of my moving back and forth between the coasts (five times!), my trusted personal library has been there. Despite the scariness of a move, even with all my experience, my library has been there. My books have provided comfort, an anchor, and a history. I go back to that No Roots song, where she notes “I’ve got no roots, but my home was never on the ground.” My roots are always omnipresent in anything New York and anything book-related.
Growing up, books were my escape. They allowed me to go off onto adventures in a fantasy world. They also showed me the existence of other worlds. Books smarts allowed me to reach out further in life. As a result, books are precious to me. This day and age, television, internet, social media, Netflix all reign supreme. I myself go on Netflix binges. However, there is still something about the feel of a book that cannot be overlooked. There is also something about the written, well-thought out word that provides comfort in a world where chaos is taking a hold of many facets of our lives. In a world where people cannot be bothered to fully read a short work email in order to get something right, I take solace in the worlds created by a JK Rowling, Caleb Carr, Phillip Roth, John Updike, or JD Salinger (to just name a few). And, that is why I transport my library from one city to the next. And, should I return to New York, my library will not only go back with me but it will “rejoice” and sing a song. And, for which I would need to buy it a new book. Perhaps from the Strand.
My son now, at the age of nine, has his own library, in his room, as well. I am not too sure that he appreciates it the way that I did at his age. But he has one nonetheless. Because my mother is the person who instilled in me that love of books, her ashes are tucked into one of the bookshelves facing a nice reading chair. I think she would love to sit in that chair, next to the fireplace, reading one of her many books of poetry while she contemplated what to write next. Ah, for the love of books. And moms!
Mimi the nomad