Monday, March 24, 2008

Lament for a Lost Friend

Sing for me, O Muse, the story of love, a mournful song in new strains, with tears; for now I will cry out a song for love lost, telling how he was destroyed by the four-footed beast that moved in stealth, and stole him when I was most vulnerable.

I have lost a friend and know not where to turn. Months have been lost in vain search, each new search as fruitless as those that preceded it.

This is the story of my lost friend, the Lewis Carroll bookmark.

My bookmark and I met a few years ago, as I browsed in my local Barnes and Noble store. The moment I set eyes upon his oddly-shaped visage, I just knew we were meant to be. Ignoring all the other authors boasting bookmarks of their own, I immediately snapped up Mr. Dodgson and headed right to the register.

Since that fateful day, we've enjoyed many good reads together, and while I have dozens of bookmarks, he has always been my first choice. As a result, he accompanied me through tragedy and comedy, through excellence and garbage. He watched me weep with sadness after completing a moving work; though he wanted to comfort me, his arms were never quite long enough, although the intent was always there. I could always read his eyes.

Recently, however, a cloud has descended upon our once bright love. I'm not sure when the severance occurred, but it has slowly dawned on me that I have not seen my beloved in quite some time. I searched in vain, beginning with books I'd recently read.


I then switched tactics, searching in books I've abandoned or left unfinished. Still nothing. My large collection of books, once a source of pride, now only mock me, for surely one of them hides Mr. Carroll. Glancing at my library only reminds me that he is in there, somewhere, hiding -- or worst yet, captive, waiting for the day when I will rescue him. Each new days brings with it a new possibility, and yet a rifling of the pages yields only despair.

I must face facts: my beloved bookmark is gone.

I know that I could purchase a new one here, but I think we all know it won't be the same. Instead I offer up this lament, that the fates might intercede and bring Lewis yet again before my eyes.

The renowned singer sang these things. But Bibliolatrist melted,
and wet the cheeks below her eyelids with a tear.
As when a woman laments, falling over the body of her dear husband
who fell before his city and people,
attempting to ward off the pitiless day for his city and children,
and she, seeing him dying and gasping,
falling around him wails with piercing cries, but men from behind
beating her back and shoulders with their spears
force her to be a slave and have toil and misery,
and with the most pitiful grief her cheeks waste away,
So Bibliolatrist shed a pitiful tear beneath her brows.

1 comment:

Lesley said...

My library is a veritable grave of bookmarks, some long forgotten and some still missed.

I feel your pain, even as I laugh at how you expressed it.