Love in the Time of. Summer reading, check.

The book I’ve been reading and rereading for years (not 100 of solitude) in medias res. Everyone has that one book (or twelve), picked up, discarded, picked up, until it becomes the bane of other reading delights. Look at you sitting there on my bookshelf just waiting with feigned patience, until both you and the book kind of hate each other. So much so that you decide it’s time to commit.

And it’s awesome, the endurance, the stamina, the reward for sticking it out. I had forgotten the sheer pleasure, on all fronts. And having given myself over to Fermina Daza, I miss her; and because at the book’s end she is in very old age, my usual made-up stories of characters living their lives after it’s over isn’t consoling me. She has to die, eventually. How long can I keep her living? But I will.

I passed the book along to my sister yesterday and today remembered that I had scribbled on the back page the ending to an idea of mine to which I had only its title. It sometimes happens this way. The words to the end of my story came to me while on vacation, in the early morning, drinking coffee alone on a huge balcony/deck, and watching the cardinals in the tall Tuscany-like trees. I was thinking how astonishing it felt to be wrapped in silence, how it felt like what I envision absolute love must feel like. And then these words just entered my brain. Jarring. The only paper around was the book’s. I have Fermina to thank for that, too. Because the more I unlock, the more I can accept in, the more I let go, the more sheer pleasures to come.


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