There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes.
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more...

-Lord Byron

Definition of Walkabout :

a short period of wandering as an occasional interruption of regular work
Showing posts with label books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label books. Show all posts

07 July 2017

the NYC library

It's fairly early in the morning for a Saturday in New York City. I zip up my hoodie, wonder about my choice to only wear shorts as the rain starts to fall. I step out onto the streets, take in the subway smells and the taxi traffic, and make my way to the public library.
The great lions named Patience and Fortitude greet me at the steps of the mighty building. I believe this will be my first time traveling to hang out in a library, but oh what a library it is!
The architecture of the halls feel more like a museum, and the great artwork hanging on the walls add this feeling.

I could go into great detail here about the research I did, the exhibits on display while there, the amazing history of the building itself; from it's construction, the generous donors, and the people of New York itself that helped make this institution what it is today.
But my goal is not to labor in my experience here, it is only to inspire you readers to get out there and explore the wonders of this place for yourself.

17 March 2015

smell*bound

Sunday morning in Portland, a light but steady rain was falling. I had a few hours to kill before heading to the airport, so I tried to see what I could do downtown that would be inside.

Powell's City of Books. Covering a city block and only a few minutes from my location, it seemed ideal. Upon entering though, it was more than ideal.

It was a dream. I was smell bound.
Simple wooden shelves housing countless stories from ceiling to floor. I was wonderfully trapped in a world of limitless imagination, wonder and history.
I wander up and down every aisle, every floor, every section, taking it all in. I was reunited with an old friend. The feel of the paper was electric on my fingers.
Powell's also houses some great works of art in the empty spaces on walls that shelves couldn't be placed. One could sit on a comfortable bench and read under the artwork, or just stare into the painting....
They also have quite the collection of typewriter's, all of which are now antique items. To the younger people in the bookstore, these were quite the spectacle to see ( Daddy, what is that?).
Like a needle in the hay, I finally find a book just for me. Making my way to the coffee shop in the store, I open my new purchase while the rain continues to fall, ever so lightly but steadily, onto the streets outside.


01 October 2013

The Timberline

I have a thing for Stanley Kubrick and The Shining. I wouldn't call it an obsession necessarily, more of a hobby to learn more about what inspired Kubrick, and a fascination with haunted places. This all came together when I spent a couple of nights at the base of Mount Hood, Oregon in the Timberline Lodge, where part of the movie was filmed.
Constructed in the 1930's, the granite stone and wood give a deep sense of care that went into this hotel. I'm given my key and make my way up the stairs and down a long hallway to room 207. Rich history is everywhere, all consuming.
The rains starts to fall steadily outside, dampening my idea to explore. I change my plans and wander through the corridors, searching all nooks and crannies. The hotel creaks and moans, as if warning me to be careful. I take heed and head back to my room....
The wind howls down the chimney. I start a fire in hopes to abate the weather, surprisingly with success. As the fire crackles and pops, I open a book and get lost in the pages as night falls.
*****
I eat when hungry, gorging on locally grown food and wine. Coffee and tea keep me company as I sit by an old window sill, watching the trees bend in the breeze as the rain continues to fall.
I have time to write postcards, catch up on sleep, rest my mind from the day to day grind. I fancy haunted spirits floating above me, finding comfort in the company of the afterlife.

01 October 2011

The Shadow of the Sun

"A highly detailed, heartfelt but unsentimental introduction to Africa's afflictions and a quiet love song to its profound appeal." - The Wall Street Journal
I first heard about this book from a travel blogger currently making his way slowly across Africa's west coast. On his recommendation, I checked it out for myself, and have found it be an enlightening read about Africa's history, culture, and above all, it's beautiful people.

Written by Poland native Ryszard Kapuscinski over 40 years of traveling to Africa, I can do no better than to repeat his forward in the book :

"I lived in Africa for several years. I first went there in 1957. Then, over the next forty years, I returned whenever the opportunity arose. I traveled extensively, avoiding official routes, palaces, important personages, and high-level politics. Instead, I opted to hitch rides on passing trucks, wander with nomads through the desert, be the guest of peasants of the tropical Savannah. Their life is endless toil, a torment they endure with astonishing patience and good humor.

This is therefore not a book about Africa, but rather about some people from there- about encounters with them, and time spent together. The continent is too large to describe. It is veritable ocean, a separate planet, a varied, immensely rich cosmos. Only with the greatest simplification, for the sake of convenience, can we say "Africa." In reality, except as a geographical appellation, Africa does not exist."

R.K.

You can find The Shadow of the Sun here.