Here is my response to Thoughts on Toast‘s writing prompt: “If you could bookmark life”. It took its own turns, as writing prompts are meant to do, and doesn’t actually include any bookmarks. Hope you enjoy it!
My finger slides from one book to the next in a library of hard and soft covers, new and old. This place is my haven, my core. Spiraling books as high as the eye can see. But I can’t reach them all. My ladder is only so tall, and so much is out of my reach. Beautiful old books with secrets I may never know, too far away, and yet right within eyesight, within yearning’s distance.
I settle for what I can reach.
A faded red book, hard cover made softer from constant use, threads protruding from the edges. The pages are thick, their corners crinkled and fuzzy. The words say things I already know. The font and spacing is irrelevant. But the fact that it’s there, that I can open that red book any time…it’s priceless.
A black book with a lime green border, soft cover. The glossy front is new and seemingly untouched, and yet I understand every nuance of what it offers. I have read it and will read it until the day I die, and its contents will still be relevant and necessary.
I roll the ladder to another section of books. I can reach five shelves without the ladder, ten shelves with it. But there are enumerable shelves above the ones I can reach, the volumes of books thicker, taller, more detailed. The depths of their contents are not things I can understand from their spines; their titles are virtually unreadable to me. I am a novice, an eager learner of all these waiting shelves have to offer. And the only way to reach the books I yearn for is to write my own and rewrite my own based on what I’ve read until I just barely touch on what it takes to understand the next shelf. And when I get there, there is a book with which to start and a book with which to finish. There is a page on which I must begin and an epilogue with which I must end. And each and every book is just the beginning of the next and the next.
I am eager to begin.
And begin again.