It’s been a little over two weeks and I am still reading, before sleep, Pilgrim by Timothy Findley. It can’t be qualified as an ‘easy’ read…but beautiful and beautifully written. The ‘lunatic’, Pilgrim, is a character of so many layers and he is challenging the young Carl Gustov Jung to reconsider everything he thinks he knows. I am most captivated when Pilgrim moves throughout history, and using his journals as a vehicle, introduces and develops his connections with such historical figures as St. Teresa of Avila, Leonardo da Vinci and Oscar Wilde. Findley creates several ‘real’ narratives through the words that Pilgrim has left behind in his journals….a fascinating book! At the same time, I am appalled by the way that Jung is handling matters in his own life and question sometimes who is the real ‘crazy’ person at times.
Findley’s use of Pilgrim’s journals has also impacted my thoughts about words, their power and their capability to give clarity to the writer’s personal ‘truth’ OR to create an altered reality, or even pure fiction. The reader is left, in this case, on page 375 of 485 pages, wondering which it is.
I took the van in for servicing last night, so, (I don’t know how to properly punctuate the ‘so’….do I place a comma before and after ‘so’, or what?) feeling distanced from my favourite off-leash parks this morning, I picked up another book and my morning coffee and sat on the red couch for a ‘read’. I chose The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks. And I’m pleased to say that I have not yet seen the movie. To this point, having read only the first two chapters, Birthday Presents and The Door is Shut, it feels like an inspiration for the movie, Toy Story. Is it?
This book, likely intended for students in Grade Four, is one that I missed out on in childhood. Right up there on the shelf along side Charlotte’s Web, I’m not really certain how I missed out on this novel. Sometimes, as adults, we just need to close the circle and catch up on some of the classics. I’m going to enjoy this book. It is sentimental, as referenced by grandmother’s jewelry box key and wonderfully descriptive.
“Have you, darling? Which one?” His mother came to look. “Oh that one! How very odd. That was the key to my grandmother’s jewel box, that she got from Florence. It was made of red leather and it fell to bits at last, but she kept the key and gave it to me. She was most terribly poor when she died, poor old sweetie, and kept crying because she had nothing to leave me, so in the end I said I’d rather have this little key than all the jewels in the world. I threaded it on that bit of ribbon—it was much longer then—and hung it around my neck and told her I’d always wear it and remember her. And I did for a long time. But then the ribbon broke and I nearly lost it.”
Reading is a luxury before making beef barley soup with Sunday’s leftover roast and going for another autumn walk.