The other day, I happened to be at Landmark, surrounded by books of all shapes, sizes, colours and about all sorts of topics. I had time to kill, and began exploring the shelves. I began making a list of all the books that I would like to read from the lot there, and gave up after a bit – I had practically listed at least 70% of the books I had shuffled through in that time. I wanted to read the book about Madame Tussauds, I wanted to read the one about hobbits and hobbit holes, I wanted to read the one about the dead writing letters to the living, and I wanted to read the one about a frustrated Parisian restauranteur coming across her own life story in a book. Of course, I couldn’t buy everything, so I left with one book, a tad heavy-hearted.
The next stop that day was a store for pre-loved books that I absolutely love. There, I came face-to-face with more books about more interesting topics – how a block of wood is converted into a violin, how the discovery of a piano shop changed a man’s life, the viewpoint of someone who hated the much-loved Tuscany at first sight, two women striking up an unlikely friendship in modern-day China, the world of concubines in Japan, and so on and so forth. Again, I wanted to buy and read everything, but constraints of the wallet and room in the house pulled me back. I left with just three books, again a tad heavy-hearted.
And then, I got thinking about whether I would ever get a chance to see all the worlds that I read about in books, to live like the characters did, to explore the nooks and crannies in the places that they did. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do all of that in one lifetime, and that realisation rendered me even more heavy-hearted. Try as I might, I wouldn’t be able to read all that I want to, see all that I want to, and do all that I want to. All I could really do was try.
So many books, so little time.
~ Frank Zappa
Actually, it is ‘So many books, so many dishes, so many places, so much to experience, so much to learn, so little time. So little money and so little room, too.’ Sigh!
I didn’t like the feeling. It made me sullen – the fact that life is so short and there is so much to do. Heck, I haven’t even finished 20% of all that I really, really, really want to do! Yes, I do torture myself over such things. And, yes, I torture the OH over such things, too. With his trademark gentleness, he tells me to take it easy, and to take it one step at a time. But would I be me I if I could do that?
Later, on the very same day, I found a bolt from the blue on Facebook. You know how you have been pondering over something, and you suddenly find the answer in a random quote or some words that you read in a book? That was how it was for me.
This is what I found:
It felt like a voice from High Above whispering to me. It was as if this quote were written just for me.
I knew then that I might not be able to read, do and see all that I want to in my life, but I will always have the unknown. I will always have something more to explore. And, for that, my life will never be dull.
I slept with a sense of calm inside me that day.