Here’s something very good that I read today, in the book “The English Patient,” by Michael Ondaatje:
“Sometimes she collects several blankets and lies under them, enjoying them more for their weight than for the warmth they bring. And when the moonlight slides onto the ceiling it wakes her, and she lies in the hammock, her mind skating. She finds rest as opposed to sleep the truly pleasurable state. If she were a writer she would collect her pencils and notebooks and favourite cat and wirte in bed. Strangers and lovers would never get past the locked door.”
Every once in a while, I come across words that are mirrors rather than print on a page and so it was today, as I sat in the salon while my hair conformed to a new color, that I came across those words and it was as if I was reading something someone had written about me. This is what I love about books: their ability to make me feel surprised when I see myself in other people’s words.
…is what I was doing when I was reading. See how dark it is? It’s my natural color! I’d forgotten, somewhere in the past ten years, that I am, in fact, Italian, and should have the dark features that I share with all of my siblings, so looking at myself in windows or in mirrors this afternoon has caught me somewhat off guard. “Who is that person?” I want to ask. And then I remember it’s the same one I saw in the book “The English Patient,” only in flesh and blood and fancy-ish hair. And the combination of the two–the one in print and the one in the reflection–is really pretty cool.