Well, it was a long, tiring drive back home, with much of it the white-knuckle kind.
The winds were high, it was snowing in Indiana, and I was tired.
But, it’s All Hallows Eve.
And Ray Bradbury’s book has drawn to a close, just as vividly and emotionally as it began.
Caruso CD 1 is now shelved.
Tomorrow starts a new book (Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice) and a new CD (Caruso CD 2).
The edition of Austen’s classic novel that I’ll be reading is from Barnes & Noble, one of their leather-bound editions.
The Caruso CD comes from the Naxos box set Enrico Caruso: The Complete Recordings.
See you tomorrow.
The day before Halloween. The perfect time for reading Ray Bradbury’s incomparable novel Something Wicked This Way Comes.
I’m growing a little tired of listening to Enrico Caruso. The same CD every day for a month gets old.
Plus, tomorrow is the drive back home – some seven hours. I’m sure that’ll get old, too.
I’ve always loved Chapter 31:
NOTHING MUCH else happened, all the rest of that night.
Bradbury, Ray (2013-04-23). Something Wicked This Way Comes (Greentown) (p. 154). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
And that’s it.
I spent much of day yesterday at the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani near Bardstown, Kentucky. That was Thomas Merton’s former hangout for many years. (He was cloistered there.)
I was so taken with the place that I texted my wife: “I want to be a Trappist monk!”
So far, enjoying my week in Louisville. Meeting fascinating people and learning a lot about Thomas Merton, the famous Catholic contemplative monk.
Caruso makes for fascinating listening. On the one hand, it’s a rough recording (as I’ve written already). Yet, on the other hand, I’m absolutely thrilled the recordings exist.
If only someone had been able to record Swedish Nightingale Jenny Lind!
From later in Chapter 28 comes this conversation between Will and his father:
His voice, Will thought, I never noticed. It’s the same color as his hair.
“Pa,” he said, “don’t sound so sad.”
“Me? I’m the original sad man. I read a book and it makes me sad. See a film: sad. Plays? they really work me over.”
“Is there anything,” said Will, “doesn’t make you sad?”
“One thing. Death.”
“Boy!” Will started. “I should think that would!”
“No,” said the man with the voice to match his hair. “Death makes everything else sad . But death itself only scares. If there wasn’t death, all the other things wouldn’t get tainted.”
And, Will thought, here comes the carnival, Death like a rattle in one hand, Life like candy in the other; shake one to scare you, offer one to make your mouth water. Here comes the side show, both hands full!
Bradbury, Ray (2013-04-23). Something Wicked This Way Comes (Greentown) (p. 137). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
Buy the book.
NOTE: It’ll be hard to keep up with my reading here in Louisville. I’m supposed to be researching Thomas Merton all week long. Plus, I’ll be driving around in an unfamiliar city. So I’m sure I’ll be tired and distracted a lot.
Getting close to Halloween.
Too bad I’ll be in Louisville, Kentucky, all next week.
Won’t get to see the little pischers, dressed in their spooky finery, begging for candy from strangers.
Dig this, from the opening lines of Chapter 28:
THE NIGHT was sweet with the dust of autumn leaves that smelled as if the fine sands of ancient Egypt were drifting to dunes beyond the town. How come, thought Will, at a time like this, I can even think of four thousand years of dust of ancient people sliding around the world, and me sad because no one notices except me and Dad here maybe, and even us not telling each other.
It was indeed a time between, one second their thoughts all brambled airedale, the next all silken slumbering cat. It was a time to go to bed, yet still they lingered reluctant as boys to give over and wander in wide circles to pillow and night thoughts. It was a time to say much but not all. It was a time after first discoveries but not last ones. It was wanting to know everything and wanting to know nothing . It was the new sweetness of men starting to talk as they must talk. It was the possible bitterness of revelation.
Bradbury, Ray (2013-04-23). Something Wicked This Way Comes (Greentown) (p. 133). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
That kind of literary symmetry reminds me of Dickens “best of times, worst of times” style.
It’s brilliant. Go buy the book!
Love the book and the CD.
A BAD thing happened at sunset.
Through noon and after noon, they had screamed up half the rides, knocked over dirty milk-bottles, smashed kewpie-doll winning plates, smelling, listening, looking their way through the autumn crowd trampling the leafy sawdust.
And then quite suddenly Jim was gone.
And Will, not asking anyone but himself, absolutely silent certain-sure, walked steadily through the late crowd as the sky was turning plum colored until he came to the maze and paid his dime and stepped up inside and called softly just one time:
“… Jim …?”
Bradbury, Ray (2013-04-23). Something Wicked This Way Comes (Greentown) (p. 67). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
Yeah. That’s how it’s done.
But the book.
Do it. I’m not kidding.