"a beautiful, writerly home."
"I had created a beautiful, writerly home, full of paper and books..."
- Anne Lamott, Real Simple, December 2013
I am a bad blogger.
You see, I have not yet posted one, single, solitary photo from our October 2012 honeymoon. I have drafted posts, yes. I have edited photos, yes. I have hemmed & I have definitely hawed. But something never felt quite right.
But let's go back to a couple weeks ago, first. On a plane from Atlanta, Georgia, to Monroe, Louisiana, I sat nestled in my tiny chair, reading the December 2013 issue of Real Simple magazine. And when I read the quote above, by Anne Lamott, I stopped in my tracks, fished my highlighter out of my carry on, & proceeded to revel in this quote's majesty. It's a simple sentiment, I know, but one that I hope to be able to speak aloud one day, in regard to our own home. And though I was anxious to share this quote with you all, I had to wait, because I wanted a photo to accompany the quote, & I'm sure any bloggers out there will be able to relate.
The photos you see above were taken in a filled-to-the-brim, books-scattered-all-over-the-floor bookshop in Portland, Maine. I still remember it like it was yesterday, which is lucky, since as I said, I have made practically no moves to document this trip as of yet. It was very chilly as we walked the quaint downtown, which actually has one of those flat buildings that New York City has [in which the Starbucks is located, no less], & we spied a book shop, the name of which is escaping me at the moment, & we went in. And as we made our way through the mountains upon mountains of books, one at the top of the pile in a back corner caught my eye.
It was The White Castle of Louisiana, by M. R. Ailenroc. A book written by one of the daughters of John Hampden Randolph, the man who built Nottoway Plantation. The very place we had just gotten married the week before.
I couldn't believe what I was seeing. How had this book even gotten here? The only place I had ever seen it sold was the Nottoway gift shop. And now, many, many miles away - in Maine, for goodness sake - we happen to stumble upon a copy of this Louisiana born-and-bred book, written by someone who lived in the very house where we just got married?
My mother bought this book on one of our many trips to Nottoway, & unless I'm remembering incorrectly, it was in the year 1997. I have since stolen this copy from her, always intending to read it [though I still haven't just yet]. Despite this fact, I quickly snatched that copy up in the Portland book shop, holding it close to my heart, exclaiming to Justin that I couldn't believe the treasure we had found. That book now sits on a bookshelf in our house, waiting to be read. Its presence is a reminder to me that nothing is done without meaning, that happy mistakes like that aren't random - there is a thread holding all of our lives together, breathing in purpose, familiarity, goodness, & truth.