Monday, January 23, 2012

reflections/angst on a book, The History of Love

he called her nova

it was the prettiest word he knew,

he called her nova

perfect for someone just like you

Allegedly, my dad wrote this. He wrote it sometime during the 70s. It was a song. A song my mother remembered, and he forgot. My mom remembered and it became my name. And this stanza showed up in a birthday card from my dad somewhere in my early 20s.

I've decided this is the way art works, and really not just the art, but also the teachings we receive. We hear what we want to hear, and we remember it in little fragments that we put together on our own. This is the way it goes.

I finished reading The History of Love by Nicole Krauss last night and it has invented enough feeling inside of me to break my silence on writing about books. Before I passed it on to the next reader, I searched this beautiful book for a sentence. Something to show you why it is to read. And every sentence reminded me of my dad's song. Because this book is somehow about a name, and remembering, and how the things we write move away from us and bring us things and never give us exactly what we are hoping for.

And it's about growing old. Not just old feeling. But honestly very old. And how we don't realize this now, but a lot of us will die alone. Our parents will be gone. Our mothers will not be there. The romantic loves we have lost will be more than lost. Everyone we know, gone. And we will hope to be seen by someone.

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