November 15, 2012

I work fairly long days . . . but on occasion, as I can, I collect some stuff . . . like stamps, but I'm only peripherally, it really at all, into philately . . . and like coins, mostly pennies, started probably because of my birth year . . . as you probably know, the steelie was a variety of the U.S. one-cent coin which was struck in steel due to wartime shortages of copper . . . I was born during the war . . . anyway, I collect stuff . . . some stuff is tangible and needs envelopes, boxes, etc. and demands (though seldom receives) inventory on occasion . . . I also collect family history, photos, etc. and pay a larger sum that I'm always comfortable about to a website that allows me to catalogue (actually most Americans usually say/write/type "catalog" . . . not sure why I'm stuck on catalogue . . . ) the information (and some of the photographs) . . . but some of what I collect is more difficult to put in a box and count up the collected numbers . . . for instance, I find that I always have a clear favorite poem in a book of an author's poems (more problematic in collections) . . . it is sometimes a temporary favorite and can change but there is always a poem I gravitate to when I first pick up the book (for instance with a book of Yeats poems at one time):
I whispered, 'I am too young,'
And then, 'I am old enough';
Wherefore I threw a penny
To find out if I might love.
'Go and love, go and love, young man,
If the lady be young and fair.'
Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
I am looped in the loops of her hair.
O love is the crooked thing,
There is nobody wise enough
To find out all that is in it,
For he would be thinking of love
Till the stars had run away
And the shadows eaten the moon.
Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
One cannot begin it too soon. 

that has now changed . . . I still very much love this poem but it is not my particular collected first choice . . . (perhaps I may share that some other time) . . . but I also collect first paragraphs of books that I have read . . . or rather of books that bend the rainbow of my life a bit . . . books that change the way the wind seems to move over water . . . books like Nikos Kazantzakis' Report to Greco . . . .
I collect my tools: sign, smell, touch, taste, hearing, intellect. Night has fallen, the day's work is done. I return like a mole to my home, the ground. Not because I am tired and cannot work. I am not tired. But the sun has set. 
I fear that different editions have slight variations on the first pages of this book . . . but still . . . this book kept me sane for a time in Bavaria but may have slightly skewed my life in other directions . . . this father of Zorba is the real Greek deity . . . the rest are mere broken statues . . .

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