With Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching I have found myself thinking about love – what it is, what it means and how everyoneÂ has a different definition. I don’t think that it is a coincidence that these thoughts are crossing my mind while reading the spectacularÂ book,Â The Museum of InnocenceÂ by Orhan Pamuk. A very literary minded friend lent it to me all the while saying “I just heard him speak onÂ NPR – he’s fabulous – I had never heard of him before – but this book is all about love, loss and the desire to put things back together.Â Just read it, I haveÂ a feeling that you will love it.” Being that she is always one to recommend a great book I took her advice and went to the beach with my book in towÂ and a couple days to read. That was last weekend. Now I’m at the beach again and I can’t put it down. And when I do put it down I find myself thinkingÂ about getting right back into it. In fact right now as I write this, I am looking forward to curling up in front of the fireplace and finding myself once again inÂ Istanbul in the early 70s.Â A quick summary (at least to the place that I am at): Istanbul society boy is engaged to society girl. Society boy goes into a boutique to buyÂ his fiance a gift and sees an old family relation to which he feels enormously drawn. Has to see her again and falls in love. Continues to see her and eventually invitesÂ her to his engagement party where they discreetly dance and plan to meet the next day as always. All while this is happening he is still happy to be marrying his fianceÂ and can’t believe his incredible luck that he can have both these women in his life. Problem: next day his lover doesn’t show up and he finds out that she has goneÂ missing. He becomes physically ill with thoughts that he will never see her again and begins to do irrational things. All while their love affair is taking place he is collectingÂ objects and mementos to keep and eventually to put in a museum of his own creation in Istanbul.Â That is where I am now and it is incredible. It seems his way of loving Â her is creating a memorial to her even before she is gone. He is collecting their whole story to show the world – it seems to be the only way that he can hold on to herÂ without having her. I know people who are collectors – but the collection of love seems strange and intriguing. Although, now that I say that I was just on the beach withÂ John collecting seashells as mementos of our trip to the beach. What I’ll do with them I’m not sure, but they will forever remind me of this blustery weekend so I guessÂ I fall into that category as well.
I read a lot but haven’t been reading much fiction these days as business books seem to cover my nightstand.Â That being said I am taking on the enjoyable task ofÂ reading more fiction. I always forget what a magical experience it is to be taken away by someone elses experiences.Â If you have any great fiction reading suggestionsÂ please let me know – I’d love to hear from you.