The Book of Delights (this is probably an ode…)

I recently began reading Ross Gay’s ‘Book of Delights.’

Full of sound, café’s and delicious, sweet fruits, it’s a book that reads like chocolate tastes.
Have you ever experienced your mind chewing tenderly on words that activate a sort of mental hyper-taste? My thoughts roll around in his words, his thought and philosophy. One of the great wonders of books, I suppose, is that we are introduced to someone in an altogether romantic, intimate way which is a little like a glimpse, on the sidewalk, into the eyes of attractive stranger.

You can’t put words as to why they are attractive, in fact, if you had seen this ‘other’ anywhere else at any other time, this person may warrant indifference, tolerance and forgetfulness from you, only. But, because you are both alive on a bright day, walking with joy there’s this moment of recognition. Like a magnet you’re drawn to this stranger, for one infinite second, and then – then you forget.

How many twinkling eyes have I seen under trees, streetlights or in the shadows of grey buildings, streaked with rain and grime but with jazz in their ears? The Book of Delights is a collection of essays, on delight. I might forget this book, not because it’s forgettable, but because I can forget about wondrous, beautiful things – unless, of course, I record them. This book! –

I love it.

I’ve only just started it, but I would highly, highly recommend it. At one point, Gay speaks about a fly that hauls light, drawing attention to the café doorknob it rests on. So far, the poet takes much delight (it seems) at the goings on of our much smaller planet neighbours. He speaks about race, and gardening. He speaks about people. He talks like a poet.

He is a poet.

I love poets.

It makes me think about the things I take delight in. My odd sense of time. That I always need to be busy, that I wonder if anyone knows that I think stormy oceans have the right of it – they are decisive in their swelling, and spit sea foam which unknowingly (sometimes) hits the windscreen of my mothers car. I’m thinking, how did this come to be? How much more fun can I have? I’m thinking, it’s a delight to live in a world where someone writes a book about delights.

What books make you think? What do those books make you think about? It’s a question that perhaps us word-lovers don’t really think about because we are so caught up in the escape of someone else’s world.

I’ve started a new course, while waiting for the results of another. I’ve taken a holiday. I’ve thought about light and dark, I’ve napped in the middle of the day with my LED fairy lights sinking their teeth into my brain, reminding me that my favourite time of year is here.

Have you noticed that when winter arrives, and the sun comes out to play, that all the colours are crisper? More saturated, more accentuated even at twilight.

I’ve eaten good food, I’ve babysat, I’ve told someone else I’m not really ready for a relationship (though I’m still trying to define why,) I’ve written out, at least some of, my anger. I’ve worked out, bought jewellery, made a Christmas list, organised an engineer visit, organised a Cranio-Sacral treatment. I’ve meditated. I’ve laughed and I’ve wondered…

Why are mocha’s so goddamn delicious?

I’m probably a little too in love with my life at times, and unsure about all this time I have. That I seem to feel the need to fill up anyway, with more things to study (I think my new life goal is to be a low-key polymath,) more people to explore – life feels so full. And then it can feel empty, when there’s no-one to talk to in that particularly intimate way about poets and poetry and new books ‘that you simply must read.’

You simply must read The Book of Delights. I don’t know about you, but I find that when I read something beautiful, a little of the wordsmithery of the author fuses with my own mind speak. I don’t mean that their words could be mine, but there’s a freedom in books that are written and published about thoughts while walking, seeing, writing, eating – being.

There’s beauty in the ordinary, and this year –

There’s something magic about recognising that.

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