When I had climbed the worn stone stairs and pushed open a heavy oaken door, my nostrils were assailed by the smell of old books, ancient leather, beeswax and candles. A long and handsome gallery was before me for the Library had originally been the Great Hall of the the Abbey. This floor was divided at intervals by bays projecting at right-angles form the walls and carrying bookshelves so that there was only a narrow way through its centre. The bays were big old oak constructions rising to a height several feet above a man's head. This part was the old chained library and many of the books were still fastened in that way.
-Charles Pulliser, The Unburied
Right now, light is streaming through my open windows and I can smell the summer air.
I live for moments during twilight- I want to immerse myself in the soft glow and just stay there, suspended between this world and mine.
Having been busier than usual, summer seems to be going by awfully fast. However, I did get to do a bit of travelling- there was one place in particular I had to drop by and that was Ottawa: I had a date with Monsieur Van Gogh.
My heart was stirred as I moved from one painting to another- his portrayal of floral and gardens are exquisite. He can paint something so ordinary as dandelions and portray them in an extraordinary light.
It was lovely visiting the National Gallery of Canada- stepping into the Van Gogh exhibition amidst hushed voices and the look of wonder on their faces is a welcoming sight. I always feel at peace when I'm at an art gallery- it's the same feeling as when I step inside a church.
Some of my favourite paintings were there, including:
View of Arles With Irises
View to Saites-Maries
Of course, I couldn't leave without getting a couple of books! From the gift boutique, I purchased:
Speaking of books, I recently joined Random House's Random Reader Challenge!
I will be reading Touch by Alexi Zentner.
Summary: Touch begins with Stephen, an Anglican priest, returning from Vancouver to the northern BC town of Sawgamet where he grew up, just in time for his mother’s death.
Sawgamet was founded by Stephen’s grandfather Jeannot, when he heard a voice in the woods calling his name and his dog, Flaireur, refused to take another step. Back then, as Stephen remembers it from the stories passed down to him, men were giants, or even gods, striving to tame the land. The world of Sawgamet was enchanted, alive with qallupilluit and ijirait, sea-witches and shape-shifters; Jeannot saw caribou covered with gold dust and found gold nuggets the size of boulders. Sometimes winter refused to end, and blizzards buried the whole town in snow for months at a time. Sawgamet was a place where Jeannot had to kill a man twice and then carry the bones around with him, bound in cloth, to make sure he stayed dead.
Years later, with his mother on her deathbed, Stephen tries to piece together the past from myths and stories and memories that he’s not sure he can trust. And not everything is magical: if life in Jeannot’s Sawgamet was richer and brighter than it seems for Stephen now, it was also harder and more brutal, with both fire and ice claiming too many lives before their time. Jeannot never knew his son, Pierre, Stephen’s father, who was himself maimed in a logging accident; Stephen’s childhood was marked by tragic loss, and a lasting pain he must now confront as he considers how to pass Jeannot’s stories on to his own daughters.
A chronicle of the birth of a town and the passing of a way of being in the world, Touch is unique, compelling and full of marvels. But this book captures the most personal moments in life as well as the most dramatic ones – Alexi Zentner conveys three generations of a family’s intimate emotional experience in language that pierces the heart. This beautiful and moving novel is a great story told by a natural storyteller, and to read Touch is to enter an enthralling world that you’ll never want to leave.
I also signed up for the Olympic Readathon, which goes from July 27th-August 12th. With the books I have yet to read, this will definitely help ease the process. My goal? To read 1400 pages! Fellow bookworms, accept the challenge and sign up!
For this post, I am delighted that there's now a trailer for Cheerful Weather For The Wedding which stars Felicity Jones and Downton Abbey's Elizabeth McGovern! Based on the 1932 classic by Julia Strachey, it's sure to delight fans of period drama. I also recommend reading the book beforehand.
Until next time!