I regularly wish for peace and quiet. And now this wish was about to be granted, a weeks holidays on my own. Many people ask me what will I do for the week, wouldn't I be lonely? My difficulty is finding time to myself. Therefore when I find it I make the most of it. So what had I planned for this week? Apart from preparing the house for Mum's visit in April, I was planning to catch up on my reading.
I had bought "The Red Tent" an excellent book by Anita Diamant for a friend for Christmas. Unfortunately she had read it. I asked her what she likes to read. She likes novels set in other countries. I immediately thought of the quadrilogy "The Jewel in the Crown" which I had read some years ago. I went on the net to look for it and got distracted by a poem I used to have on the wall of my classroom years ago " Everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum. This in its turn lead me to the author's online journal. I really liked his writing and then I discovered he had written a novel "Third Wish"
Third Wish is a 5 volume 2 book novel that comes with a CD of original music. Robert Fulghum writes that "music is an elemental dimension of being human. The music we carry in our minds reveals much about us" Therefore the music in the lives of the characters of the novel was included on a CD to reveal more of their humanity. We are asked to pay as much attention to the music as the written word. The novel starts at a table in a taverna in Crete and winds its way to Japan, France, England Seattle and back to Greece. It is a journey, not only through countries, but through the minds and relationships of the characters. The themes are slowly, witness and surprise. Not only does the book come with its own music but it has over 150 illustrations. The book begins with this poem.
Instructions For Wayfarers.
They will declare: Every journey has been taken.
You shall respond: I have not been to see myself.
They will insist: Everything has been spoken.
You shall reply: I have not had my say.
They will tell you: Everything has been done.
You shall reply: My way is not complete.
You are warned: Any way is long, any way is hard.
Fear not. You are the gate - you, the gatekeeper.
And you shall go through and on . . .
—Alexandros Evangelou Xenopouloudakis,
I tracked it down on Amazon.com and read the first few pages online. I was intrigued and decided to buy it for my friend......and also for myself. I could not wait for her to finish it. Amazingly, considering the size and the CD, the book was not expensive, but the postage was. Anne was not in a hurry for the book so I ordered it, with standard postage. It would take over a month to arrive. Unfortunately, a few days later I got an email telling me my order was cancelled. The book was out of stock!
I ordered it from 5 different suppliers and each time they cancelled the order, giving the same reason, out of stock. I was getting more and more frustrated! Eventually I ordered it from Amazon.com itself and by now I decided to have it sent by priority shipping. I was growing impatient. The two copies of the book cost €13.11 and €44.78 for the postage. Each copy weighs 3kg!
I managed to keep my hands off the book and keep it for my holiday. I must be crazy because it was 3kg of my 20kg baggage allowance. I hoped to finish it in the week. I read it in two and a half days. Everytime I thought I knew what happening next there was another surprise waiting for me. It was worth the wait, the weight and every penny of the postage!