Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Volumes of Memory

Everyone has certain sights or objects and strongly remind them of the past. The other night, having just got in to my mother's house, I stepped into the library in order to give MrsDarwin a quick call and catch up on doings back in Ohio. Pacing around while talking I was realizing what a strong visual memory I have for my parents books.

The present house is not one I ever lived in -- my mother moved here after my father died in order to be near her parents -- and so the layout of the library is different. And yet, the books are the same. A number I've read, but far more I have not. Yet even among those books I'd never taken down from the shelf there is an intense familiarity to the books which I saw on the shelves throughout my childhood. The "old books" all showed as familiar faces while newer acquisitions jumped out as unfamiliar. I could probably sort the whole library into books acquired in the last ten years and those acquired before with a fair amount of accuracy. And likewise with the non book inhabitants of the shelves. Thomas the blue china elephant looks down with a familiar smile, and the enigmatic saxaphone playing frog hides on a lower shelf. But the miniature mounted globe is unfamiliar.

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