Saturday 17 December 2016

Another World

Appointment in Samarra
There was a merchant in Bagdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, Master, just now when I was in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me.  She looked at me and made a threatening gesture, now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate.  I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me.  The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went.  Then the merchant went down to the marketplace and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, Why did you make a threatening getsture to my servant when you saw him this morning?  That was not a threatening gesture, I said, it was only a start of surprise.  I was astonished to see him in Bagdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.

Just over a year and a half ago, I was called for jury duty. I had always wanted to serve on a jury, but when I found out that the trial would possible last six months I had second thoughts. There were about two hundred of us potential jurors and just as we were let in to the room that was to be our “home” for the next few days a woman grabbed my arm and said “You’re a talker, I need someone to pass the time with.” Being a “talker” I was pleased with the arrangement.

It turned out that she had retired two days earlier as the English Department head at Mount Royal University and didn’t look forward to jury duty as much as I was. She actually wanted to take advantage of her free time. Luckily for both of us a jury was selected and we were not needed at all. During the hours we spent in the room I noticed a book that she was reading and made note of it. I figured if it were good enough for a professor of English it would surely be good enough for me. The book was “The Long Way Home” by Louise Penny. I mentioned all of this in a previous blog but I figured you wouldn’t remember it at all.
 Image result for louise penny long way home
I loved the book and have been reading the series since then. I am pacing myself because I just don’t want to finish the series. The books are that enjoyable. However, the book that started me on my Louise Penny journey was number ten in the series and I have just now finished reading it for the second time. It was good the first time, but the second reading has been much better because I have watched the characters develop over the past nine books and they are now alive in my mind. I know why Ruth has a pet duck, I know why the Inspector has retired and is somewhat damaged, I know why his wife is so worried, I know why Clara is searching for Peter, I know why Peter left in the first place. In a way I know these people than most “real” people I come in contact with.
 Image result for reading twilight zone

I have three books left to read in the series and if I plan it well enough I can make them last through the winter. After that I will have to start writing to Louise Penny and begging for her to write faster. Perhaps I should write to her and find out what books affect her in the same way. Perhaps I can find a new, wonderful series that will transport me and my imagination to another world.

With any luck I will see you in the spring.

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