Firecrackers. Twelve round fruits. Polka dots. Resolutions.
We each have our own ways of celebrating the coming of the new year. When I was a kid, I would jump as high as I could at the stroke of midnight in the hopes of growing taller. But now that I no longer harbor such hopes, I welcome the new year with new books instead.
Every 31st of December, I go book hunting. Last year, I was able to score two Tom Robbins books for myself and Lucy Cousins’ Hooray for Fish! for my son (as of today, this book is still his favorite). This year, I trooped to Book Sale and got Susan Sontag’s The Volcano Lover for myself and a couple of children’s books for my son.
I love all of the books I got for my son but I’m most excited about In the Garden with Van Gogh because it combines poetry and art. I think it’s an excellent way to introduce him to art. I just hope I can also find the other titles in the series (especially A Magical Day with Matisse and A Picnic with Monet). I know it may be a little early but hopefully, he’ll be able to appreciate this book in a couple of months. For now, he’ll probably gravitate more towards Vehicles (which features beautiful ripped paper illustrations by Paula Knight). I have a strong feeling it’s going to be his new favorite.
The book I got for myself is one I’ve never actually heard of before. I just found it under a stack of other books. I found the title intriguing so I opened a random page and came across this passage:
To be unaccompanied. To be alone. To lower yourself into your own feelings.
There to find mists and vapors. Then little protuberances of old angers and longings. Then a large emptiness. You think of what you have done, done with brio–great slabs of actions, enterprises. All that energy has drained away. Everything becomes an effort.
And so I got the book without even bothering to read the synopsis. That passage was enough.