for my 18th birthday, right after i had graduated high school, my boyfriend gave me a first edition copy of "the sound and the fury", my favorite book by my favorite author. it was a sweet gift, and a thoughtful one. it is one of the few gifts from i've kept from a love i've moved on from. i was recently cleaning out my desk when i happened upon it, and took a moment to read the note he had written for me, which started with this quote.
"there is no frigate like a book to take us to lands away. nor any couriers like a page of prancing poetry. this traverse may the poorest take without oppress of toll. how frugal is the chariot that bear the human soul." -- emily dickinson
and with that he wished that i would enjoy the journey, the book's story, many times.
as i read this, almost ten years later in my tiny new york city studio apartment, i wish i could tell him, and my younger self, about all the journeys i had enjoyed since then. that while innocence is beautiful, it is not life. i had yet to experience a broken heart, or fall madly in love, travel to a foreign country, hear about the death of a friend, drink a glass of wine, break the standards i had set for myself, spend a whole day wandering a city i lived in, or wear a smashing, truly smashing, pair of heels. i want to tell them both so badly about all of these journeys and more. but i can't. and in my memory they both go on - my younger self thanks him for the book, they begin to eat dinner - oblivious to all of the painfully exquisite life that is waiting for them. and i know it is better that way. for them not to know. they'll get there one day. and they'll live it one day. and for as transporting as words and books can be, there is nothing better than that.