Thursday, January 20, 2005

Still Life


I just finished reading Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland. I enjoyed it very much. In the past couple of novels, I have been able to pick out some quotes to share, some words of wisdom from the story. This book begins in the present and tells the history of a particular painting through the centuries. Vreeland takes us into the lives of all the previous owners. It's a fun ride. She crafts her story in a way that is subtle and blended like the painting she describes. There aren't too many passages with overt messages. She gets her point across through the actions of the characters. She doesn't preach.

I probably have read more in the past couple of weeks than I have in years. One of the things that has occurred to me is that all of the characters in these stories have an inner life. The wonderful thing about books is that we get to learn what characters are thinking (and sometimes the why). I can more fully imagine the inner life that everyone has. Just walking down the street you can imagine all of the different things people are thinking. Now, if you're me, you think that they are thinking about you...judging you. But whatever they're thinking about...it's theirs. Little pearls of thoughts tucked away that only are shared with friends and lovers...and then only sometimes.

I did cull one passage form the book I wanted to share. "...much of living is repetition and separation, that buttons forever need re-sewing no matter how ferociously one works the thread, that nice things almost happen."

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