I just returned from a week in Maine. In addition to visiting my family, the sea, and the rocky shore, I also got to visit old friends whom I had not seen in many moons. I’m referring – of course – to books.
Shelves and shelves of books. I could remember just when I had met most of them. These books connect me to my family, to my younger self, and to the world.
Time moves in only one direction, but books are time machines. They take us back to when we first read them. They take us to new or old worlds.
and under trees.
They take us home even if home no longer exists.
They take us on unsettling adventures.
Eudora Welty said “The events in our lives happen in a sequence of time, but in their significance to ourselves they find their own order, a timetable not necessarily – perhaps not possibly – chronological. The time as we know it subjectively is often the chronology that stories and novels follow: it is the continuous thread of revelation.”
The art and stories I have read, seen and loved (or sometimes disliked) provide intermittent sparks of revelation and inspiration. What books are sparks for you? What books offer time travel?
I hope that the my work will spark someone else. I can never create with that in mind; thinking about how something will be received is a quick way to kill the joy of making art. But in the abstract I hope that before croaking I can make time machines for someone else to ride.