Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Books, Attraction, & A Day in the World

Have you ever thought about why we're attracted to or gravitate towards some things and not to others? I haven't given it much thought until now as I continue to purge possessions and pare down on books in order to make an April residential move, to who knows where, somewhat lighter and hopefully less stressful than it already is.

Parting with books is hard, but now necessary. My collection is huge and with books being so heavy, the thought of lifting and carting boxes, and boxes, and boxes, and boxes, of them sits heavy with me.

And so, with each book I lift, I must decide which to keep and which to discard and donate.

So far, I've given away 389 books (and still counting) to two local libraries. Books on: Divination (Astrology, Numerology, I Ching, Runes, Luck and Feng Shui) the Arts (Writing and Writers, Artists and Art History, Painting, Photography, Creativity) along with Craft books (Origami and Bookmaking) the Soul, Dreams, Zen and Meditation, Motivational and Inspirational (aka) self-help books, good Fiction and more.

If only I collected stamps instead of publications (sigh), which is like saying, "If only my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a bicycle... an absurd-sounding statement often made by my dad (about wishing) that I'm only beginning to understand now. 

And so, it's with both hands that I'm clutching this book, A Day in the World, initiated by Aday.org when exactly 63,294 amateur and professional photographers from more than 190 countries submitted over 100,000 images with descriptions (1,000 of them included in the book) documenting daily life on one given day, May 15, 2012.

Some might call this a 'coffee table' book (a large picture book that's displayed on a table to peruse and spark conversation, I suppose while relaxing and sipping coffee). I don't know, I don't own such a table.

What I do know is that this book weighs as much as some small tables, registering 6 pounds on my bathroom scale, which is why sadly, this book must go... but not before going through it again and again, once more.

And the more I look through this book, it's odd, or perhaps not so strange, that it's here, with these 6 images, that I stop and pause a bit longer each time.

pp. 88-90 London, UK, 08:45

"In the past 10 years, I have moved house eight times, living in Kabul, in four different flats in New York, briefly in Los Angeles, and finally in London. In each of these places, I always build a memory box corner. A suitcase full of secrets, a time capsule, an alcove, it gives weight and roots to a new place— and for that matter must remain untouched. I never sweep the dust off the shelf. Sometimes I add an object or remove one, but some are central pieces. As an ensemble, they comfort me, express the passage of time, and provide a form of permanence in my vagabond life."
Photo and description: Claudine Boeglin

A vagabond and a warrior, how extraordinary to have the strength and ability to frequently uproot one's self and continually move on.

pp. 80-81 London, UK, 07:57

"Ivy was looking at a Rapunzel sticker book in her room before she left for nursery. Her favorite is a nursery rhyme book. Ivy loves her room and is often found 'relaxing' (her word) with books or children's magazines."
Photo and description: Suzanne Plunkett

Ahhhh... a room of one's own, to be surrounded by the things that we love and intrigue us. How comforting and engaging.

pp. 24-26 Cape Spear, Newfoundland, Canada,  05:45
This is the easternmost point in continental North America.

"We see the first rays of sunlight before anyone else on this coastline. The lighthouse in the foreground is the oldest in Newfoundland, built in 1834 and used until 1995, when the newer lighthouse— whose light is visible in the background— replaced it."
Photo and description: Dave Armstrong

How privileged to have a light that guides you and to receive the very first rays of the day, each and every day, before anyone else in all of North America.

pp. 128-129 Kawasaki, Japan, 10:00

"My girlfriend started losing her connections to the outside world because of depression. She is being treated at a hospital for her illness, trying to confront the trouble inside herself. She is afraid to get a job, because she would have to quit if her condition got worse. Somehow she has found comfort in taking care of this little plant."
Photo and description: Daichi Koda

How grounding, people and objects can be when life becomes fragile.

pp. 386-387, 390 London, UK, 17:53
The skyscrapers of Canary Warf form a new financial district, to the east of the traditional city, in an area that once teemed with dockside activity.

"Looking out of my seventh-floor window, the pattern formed by the strolling office workers suggested an upturn in the market. I'd spent much of the day in meetings and it was almost time to go home, so this was an optimistic end to the day."
Photo and description: John Angless

For a change of perspective there's nothing like an expansive view from above. How uplifting!

p. 442 Chicago, USA, 18:23

Optimo Hats is in downtown Chicago in what was said to be the world's largest office building at the time of its construction in 1893. The Photographer was in the building but looking through the closed shop window to Dearborn St.

"I love this hat shop because it is reminiscent of a different era. The shot turned out to be a happy accident."
Photo and description: Jessica Garrett

How playful the Universe can be through coincidence, happenstance, and synchronicity as this man walking outside appears to be wearing the hat that's shelved inside the building at the instant the photographer snapped her camera.

And why these 6 images out of 1,000?

Apparently, we gravitate towards and are attracted to things that resonate with us, that speak to the I, me, my, of who we are at a given moment.

I believe this moment, of having to relocate, being in a state of flux and uncertainty, chose these images.

And if there's one thing for certain, it's that... everything changes.

I wonder if theses same images or new ones from the lot of 1,000 will make themselves known to me once things here become a bit more fixed and certain.

I'll let you know when I next visit my library and see this book, my book, sitting on one of their shelves.

Also, soon to be shelved for a limited time may be this blog, "Here and Next" as Michael and I undergo our residential move. Posts will follow once we're 'cable connected' and settled.

Till then... I'd love to hear from you on which things hold your attention or what things you choose to collect and why.

May your daily life be
grounded, connected, enriched, and surrounded
by the people and things
you love most in this world.

XOX... Dyan