On crying in the dark and Catherine of Aragon’s bible

It was dark, the early all-consuming blackness of a November evening. It was raining, the sort of rain that glitters and rests on the edge of a building like coy midday frost.

And I was crying.

Not fully, not half-consciously, but still, it was there. That edge of not understanding what had just happened to me. That slightly overwhelmed, dizzy, uncomprehending, state of being unable to fathom the world and the twists of circumstance and life.

I had just held Catherine of Aragon’s bible.

How ridiculous is that sentence? How – other – is that sentence? To even formulate those words, to have that connection to another world and another time, captured in literature, and so innocently, so silently there and waiting  to be found by another –

The darkness in the park, the unseeing eyes.

all books wait to be read, all books are to be read, yet all books exist without reading, yet all books need a reader. The concave twists of interaction. The moebius strip of reading.

The darkness in the park, the rain on the shoulder.

Books. A singularity in the world. An incision. A blade from now to then, from today to yesterday, a world of intent and hope and sadness and joy caught in the frame of this tiny, ridiculous object. This venerated, venerable thing.

The darkness in the park, the world slipping away.

I had just held Catherine of Aragon’s bible.

What a remarkable and wonderful and blinding world this is.

 

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