In the basement along the right north wall lays a row of books. Biographically portraying life, they contain stories of everlasting tides of joy and sorrow that all mankind must experience. Yet it is what these authors did that add laughter, tears, and relief into our hearts as we too try and make sense of the world and our struggles. Some of the books are worth opening and yet others immobilized, collect dust and add to the synchronized demeanor of those past. What better way to harvest knowledge then from those who lived? And, yet, what better way to collect wisdom then from those who lived well? Walking aimlessly by shelved existences I felt intrigued by finding something, someone, special. Would it be a thick recollection of war, love, or the fight of a brave man? Perhaps a whirlwind adventure of one who traveled, or maybe those who opposed society’s standard, were imprisoned yet survived. I sat on a stool and looked around for that perfect book, but my eye was drawn to the most boring covered gray book on the shelf. Ignoring it once, I scanned the shelf, yet again I noticed it and this time I picked it off the shelf.
Most people check out books for the content, the copyrighted published material, but not me, not today. Today I simply checked out a book purely for the inscription the author left on the inside cover in 1952. It was a declaration of times, a little treasure encased within a book that I will most likely never read.
“My very dear Friend,
Let us not sit down and say ‘The night has come, it is no longer day’
For age is opportunity no less than youth itself, though in another dress.”
Let us not forget”
September 12, 1952
My amusement with this frail fading writing intrigued me. In a world where we see so much typing, text, and computer media, a simple stroke of a pen warrants history and observation. Discovering the heart of someone is the hard part. You can read all about them, their lives, what they did, who they became, but to really know them; it takes our hearts as well.