a Dance to the music of time

Yes, still here, but not entirely sure why – other than wanting to be a part of this whole experience (even while still wishing it might have Middlemarch (I missed it) or The Poisonwood Bible (not long enough? Too modern?) or …. ?

I’m a fierce reader, and if I’m not ‘hooked’ by between 30 or 50 pages, I normally let it go – life’s too short, and all that. One book that stood out for me as beating that self-imposed rule though, was Wolf Hall – where I got to page 70 and realised I hadn’t understood a word, so gave myself the week-end to do nothing but read and there I was, right in the midst of Thomas Cromwell’s world and unable to stop.

So, this is a very different experience. I sit in my reading nook and read A Dance to the Music of Time for as long as I can, and then put it away to read something else, keen only to get to the end before the month is up so that I can have ‘time off’ before the next book! This month I read A Thousand Moons by Sebastian Barry in two utterly absorbed and heart-swooning sessions. I read The Overstory by Richard Powers, stopping only when I needed to recharge from the awful, heart-stopping pain and anguish the characters are enduring. And I’ve started with Louise Penny at Book 1 of the Inspector Gamache series which I’m loving and which have satisfyingly long chapters, so I read a chapter, sweep the floor; read a chapter, hang the washing; read a chapter, make lunch – you get the picture!

But, I agree with DoveGreyReader, that although I can read for pages and pages and seem to have no sense of what is happening – I share that sense of while not maybe seeing it as crystal clear, nevertheless somehow having lived it rather than read it, even though there is little – if anything – in my own experience that ties up with his. I think it’s a little bit like watching a life in real time? And not having read any of it since finishing A Buyers Market a couple of weeks ago, I do have an anticipatory sense of looking forward to seeing how everyone is – so *something* is working!

And, I too, have one of those strange coincidence stories. We live in a small village of 150 people, a very close, rural community. Hilary and I were in London, somewhere in Chelsea, looking for a restaurant for supper, and there sitting at a table on the pavement outside a restaurant, were friends/neighbours from home that we hadn’t seen for quite a while! (A similar thing happened in Venice, too, last time I was there.)

If anyone has read this far (sorry!) – since book 1 of A Dance to the Music of Time, I’ve had a poem floating in the unreachable part of my brain and wonder if anyone can help me retrieve it? It’s written by a male poet, is set soon after WWI, in a public school – and my impression is that it is told from the point of view of the school master: it’s a grey, cold, damp day in November; the master is aware of missing pupils, maybe because of gaps on the coat pegs? I’ve asked everyone here in my various poetry groups – but it’s still missing. Any suggestions will be followed up – thank you! Email please! info@wenlockbooks.co.uk

Deep breath – and on to The Acceptance World tomorrow!

Oh – and , last thing, I was delighted when a fellow dovegreyreader follower turned up at one of my reading groups, having ‘met’ me through the DoveGreyReader comments section. How lovely!


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