My grandmother, Grandy, died in May of 2014 when I was in Cambridge at graduate school. She died in Canyon, Texas, in the Panhandle. She was stupendous. I hope she was proud of me. I certainly was of her.
Just recently, I received some 4 large boxes of books (chosen by me from a fairly vast collection). The process was wildly fascinating and profound in ways that I'd not anticipated. I'll write about that sometime soon. Perhaps share as well.
Beyond just looking at and taking some of the books, I created a sticker for the inside jacket to remember the books I got from her, though I assume I would have no problem recognizing those that came from her (library).
Even further, surprising though it may seem, I plan on reading the books. Some of them. I'll surely die before I read them all, considering I've dozens of others working their way onto the list, and evidently people are still writing books to this day. A wonderful friend, for example, just wrote a book that leapt to the top of the list the moment I had it in my mitts. This friend, Tom Preston, wrote a brilliant small work called The Boy in the Mirror. Read it.
Having read just one of Grandy's books, I recognize that the experience is a wholly unique one. I read with her over my shoulder at times. Often, I feel like she's reading to me. Other times, I feel as if it's me reading to her. Still other moments, I can't help but think about how reading this line or that page might have felt in her shoes.
These moments unsurprisingly coexist, contradicting one another, challenging one another, supporting one another, both enhance the text and distract me from it (and likely the author's intent). I intend to explore these readings with snippets from the text and my feelings about them. It may be that I only get through a half dozen or so before this wears off, and I resort back to the fiction that excites me without this familial connection. Perhaps not, and I'll plow through the boxes, step-by-step.
Either way, I hope to capture some of the experience in word form, not necessarily made to be interesting or engaging beyond its writing. Sorry to clog up the internet with edust. I find it helps me organize thoughts.