Thursday, December 15, 2011


To read a book for the first time is to make the acquaintance of a new friend, to read it a second time is to meet an old one.

Selwyn Champion
Hello Ally
In Giacomo Puccini's opera "La Boheme" there is a short but poignant aria in the last act. Colline is going off to sell his overcoat to buy some medicine for his roommate's girl friend, Mimi. He sings a farewell to his coat which has been his friend for years, with philosophers and poets living in its pockets. That sad aria has always had a special place in my heart.

Thank heaven I never had to sell my overcoat but when I lived in New York City I never went out without a book in my pocket. Most of the time in was "Don Quixote" by Cervantes. Even though I had read the book through, it was a pleasure to dip into it again at odd moments, waiting for a subway, or sitting at a table having lunch.

Sometimes it was a different book, but it was always and old friend. People who knew me knew there was always a book in my pocket and would sometimes ask what it was. "What's in the pocket, D.?"

An important book must be read more than once, even more than twice sometimes. Each time, like an old friend, it reveals more of its secrets, its mysteries and its love.

Now I'm retired, live alone and rarely go out. But when I do there's Aristotle's "De Anima" in my pocket. Otherwise I'm surrounded by books. I've never counted them but there must be over a hundred. They've all been read or partially read. I am surrounded by friends, new and old.

I still have that "Don Quixote." It's just over there, under "The Dead Sea Scrolls."

Dana Bate - The Vagabond
(Never Give Up)
Here you go.

This is an invitation for anyone and everyone to post a entry of their own on my journal, Vagabond Journeys

The end of the year holidays are soon upon us and since it is a time for celebrations, remembrances, resolutions and plans for the future I know that people have a lot to say.

Not to take away from the postings on your journals, but to add to the joy of my own celebrations is why I invite you to write for mine.

I want to read what your thoughts are about this magical time of the year. This invitation is open to everyone: Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Pagans, Agnostics, Atheists and the Uncertain.

Tell me your thoughts on Chanukah, Christmas, Ashura, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice, New Years Eve. or any subject you want or is associate with this holiday season.

There are no limits in regard to length. The only limitation is that, for reasons so far unexplained to me, my blog does not take photographs, animations, videos or pictures of any kind. I deal in words.

Please accept my invitation. Send your entry to my email address I will copy and paste it into my journal and it will be displayed promptly. You may sign your name or not as you wish, and you may leave a link to your blog or your email or not, as you wish. I will do NO editing or censoring. Eloquence is not necessary, mind or heart or both is all.

All are welcome. Admission is free.



Jon said...

I'm very familiar with Colline's farewell aria to the coat in "La Boheme".
I purchased a copy of "Don Quixote" when I was sixteen but I never kept it in my coat pocket. It was too damn heavy!
(books are my very best friends. I never want to part with them).

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

A good book is my escape. Perhaps in time I will read more for knowledge.