Monday, July 20, 2015

a book about forgetting

"We remember nothing.
Maybe for a year or two.
Maybe most of a life
page 244
"Maybe a lot of people never know love.
Maybe we just get given our faces, our lives, our fates, our happiness and unhappiness.
Some get a lot, some bugger all.
And love the same.
Like different glass sizes for beer.
You get a lot, you get bugger all, you drink it and its gone.
You know it and then you don't know it.
Maybe we don't control any of it. " page 373
I finished my novel on Saturday.
I'd like to say that it was about memory,
but it's more about how people lose memories,
or only hold parts of memories until they become more like dreams.
Title of novel: The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
I read it slowly, a few pages a day over two months.
I learned about Australia and World War II.
Through flashbacks, poetry, and glimpses of daily life,
the author pulled me in with his beautiful writing.
He juxtaposes so many things.
Relationships and history, love and death,
horror and beauty, duty and adultery.
It won the Booker Prize 2014.
The images in this post are of the journal I wrapped today using an entire spool of sewing thread.
It's small, fit in my purse and holds two times of my life.  2007 (notes for two artist talks) and in the spaces, small bits of my current time in England, 2015.  Now wrapped up.


  1. Richard Flanagan is such a challenging writer, loved "Gould's Book of Fish" and love even more your bound book!

  2. Sounds like an interesting book, I'll add it to my requests at the library. The thread bound book is a beautiful enigma.

  3. Now, why didn't I think of that? I love the metaphor of wrapping the memories in thread, never to be opened again.

  4. The novel was one of the saddest I have ever read. Almost as sad as A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry's.

    But even though the content was man's inhumanity, I found it to be very spiritual. This author is very talented.

    The silk and thread wrapped journal is about forgetting.

  5. I've been pondering your book binding (pun intentional) and admiring your courage. Although I've only once revisited any of the journals I began the year I was due to turn 40 (1992), I haven't the courage or chutzpah to tape/bind/wrap any of them up. I never re-read books ("What, never?" "Well...hardly ever.") but I can't bear thinking of not doing so, nor would I "waste" binding/tape/thread on the off-chance I might have to cut one/all open to re-read...

    And of course, you will never know if, after you have left this earth, your children/grand-children/etc. might cut them open and read them, to try to understand Grandmama/Great-gm/Great-great-gm...

    For me, being remembered/memory is...almost everything. Being understood by others, if not by oneself. Freud would have a field day!

  6. Margaret - i get what you are saying. Really very much.
    I love my old journals, and I do re-read them. They are packed with me.

    And yes, it is brave of me to wrap that part of my life up and not be able to re-visit it. It's a statement about mortality.

    (before I do the wrapping, I enter the text into my computer just in case) xx

  7. Do you mean you copy all the text inside the journal, Judy?

  8. Yes.
    And if I have made a sketch or drawing, i tear it out of the old journal and tape it into my current journal.

    Sounds obsessive, but actually this re-visiting of my past life and creative way is affirming and also inspiring for me. I find family stories and old ideas that are needed today.

    Someday I'll write a book.

  9. i like this binding off, up. i like it so much, better than when i torched a bunch of writings i'd rather have no one know. binding is somehow very appropriate. wrapping. cocooning.

  10. oh, i just saw that last thing, "Someday I'll write a book." i am waiting.


Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx