Browsing in the bookshop yesterday I came upon a copy of "The Child that Books Built" by Francis Spufford. I'd meant to read it years ago, so was pleased to pick it up. This morning, before our short story session, I opened it up to read this first paragraph:
I can always tell when you're reading somewhere in the house,' my mother used to say. 'There's a special silence, a reading silence.' I never heard it, this extra degree of hush that somehow travelled through walls and ceilings to announce that my seven-year-old self had become about as absent as a present person could be. The silence went both ways. As my concentration on the story in my hands took hold, all sounds faded away ...
I've always loved 'intertextuality' - the way books talk to each other through you, the reader, and now this book was speaking directly to the conversation I was having in my last blog post, about the silence of reading. Connectedness.
As I write this now by the fire in the sitting room, Emily is just across the way in the kitchen. I hear the radio, the clatter of pans, the sound of knife on board as she prepares for our evening meal. An occasional low murmur of conversation. She cooks creatively, with huge amounts of love, and our meal-times are a feast of food, conversation, company (and lots of wine).
We talk about knitting, about good yarns, spinning stories - the links between words (text) and knitting (textiles) are obvious and lovely.
Stories, food, craft - community.