Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Thoughts and Inspirations

It's not death that man should fear, but never beginning to live.
- Marcus Aurelius


Recently, when I caught up with a friend whom I haven't seen a long while, it made me realize a couple of things:

People are in your life everyday. You see them as you walk down the street when you head into work. They're there when you step into your favourite bookstore, brush against your shoulders as you head down the stairs to take the train, or when you've gone to pick up a cup of coffee at the nearest cafe. Whatever it is that you're doing, there they are. But they are of no importance to you. Some aren't significant enough that you'd commit their faces to memory because after a second's encounter, you'll probably never see them again in a lifetime. They're mere shadows lurking in your presence.

And then there are the individuals whom you call acquaintances, colleagues, friends, family- they appear before you as colourful and lively. Some can fill up the entire room with their presence and speech. It's comforting in some ways.

Sometimes, the ones who move you the most are the ones we seem to lose touch of. Of course, life issues out unexpected events and we have to juggle whatever comes our way alongside our predictable routines so that by the end of the week, we pause and wonder where the time went.


Then invitation calls. It's sent by a familiar face, the one that brings you back to a carefree time and releases warmth by the very thought of them. You accept, knowing that there will be an afternoon or evening to look forward to in days ahead.

Upon meeting, the conversation picks up right where you started. There's no awkward pauses, only laughter. You bring up fond memories and they catch you up on books or shows they've seen. Through it all lies the strong current of being able to share the same passion and agreement on things we admire or enjoy. More laughter is shared and promises of greater things to come on both our fronts. Days seem more brighter, evenings more luminescent. 

I can remember whole summers,  weekends, and even evenings as of recent (one in which as we were visiting the museum, my friend and I actually had to sit down to talk about our love of "The IT Crowd"), where I've happily endured such instances. The people whom I share these priceless moments, I'm grateful to have them in my life. You will find that with age, you begin to grasp that such relationships are indispensable and must be cherished dearly.


Watch: The Artist- Michel Hazanavicius

I was thrilled to see that The Artist won Best Picture at this year's Oscars. This sort of film which tips its hat to the golden age of silent films, is beautiful, brilliant, and magical.

I could spend every evening here reading a great novel, sipping a glass of wine........beautiful. 

When I see this, I think of summer, (which makes me yearn for summer even more- not helping considering the situation at the moment, seeing that Toronto weather is a bit drabby) and the thrill sitting out here with my favourite novel and listening to jazz playing in the background on the record player.

To read: 

"Up in this high air you breathed easily, drawing in a vital assurance and lightness of heart. In the highlands you woke up in the morning and thought: Here I am, where I ought to be."

For those of you who may or may not know, I have been taking part of  HarperCollins Canada's 50 Book Pledge. I'm close to reading ten, so I will be creating a post dedicated to a review of the ones I've read so far- from Albert Camus' "The Plague" to Paul Harding's "Tinkers".

Friday, February 10, 2012

Reads for the Nostalgic Romantic: The Valentine's Day Edition

The search continues...

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that come Valentine's Day, the nostalgic romantic must be in want of a pleasant read. There's nothing like sinking down in your favourite armchair with a glass of wine and a cozy read in your hands- much like Amanda with "Pride and Prejudice" in Lost in Austen.
As much as we love all things Austen, here are some titles to take a chance on which have been tried, tested and true by yours truly:

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks: 

“There you are, sir. There's nothing more than to love and be loved.”

The Doctor and the Diva by Adrienne McDonnell:

"As she moved through more Handel and Mozart, to "Caro mio ben", her eyes glittered and skimmed across the audience. I always search for a face I can sing to, Erika had told Ravell. Tonight, he hoped that face would be his own."

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson:

“You are a wise man, Major, and I will consider your advice with great care--and humility." He finished his tea and rose from the table to go to his room. "But I must ask you, do you really understand what it means to be in love with an unsuitable woman?" 
"My dear boy," said the Major. "Is there really any other kind?” 

The End of the Alphabet by C.S. Richardson:

“A man can see a hundred women, lust for a thousand more, but it is one scent that will open his eyes and turn him to love.” 

Possession by A.S. Byatt:

"We can be quiet together, and pretend - since it is only the beginning - that we have all the time in the world." 
"And every day we shall have less. And then none." 
"Would you rather, therefore, have had nothing at all?" 
"No. This is where I have always been coming to. Since my time began. And when I go away from here, this will be the mid-point, to which everything ran, before, and from which everything will run. But now, my love, we are here, we are now, and those other times are running elsewhere.” 

Silk by Alessandro Baricco:

“Perhaps sometimes life shows you a side of itself which leaves you with nothing more to say.” 

So Bright and Delicate: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne:

“I almost wish we were butterflies and liv'd but three summer days - three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.” 

Happy reading!


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