Marianne Boruch [ Off the Record]

“I worked mostly with dead people and dark places.” Said the excited historian.

“You’re a poet then.” Joked Marianne.

Marianne was, as I was informed, a famous poet. Due to sheer convenience, I decided to attend her lecture instead. She talked of, and read, her non-fiction ‘The Glimpse Traveller’, published in 2011. We’ll get to that in a second.

As I stepped into the reading room, one not more than twice the size of my own bedroom, I noticed an extremely foreign atmosphere. Within the room was not more than twenty people, most over the age of sixty from what I’ve spied. A quick glance proved my guess that no one I knew was here. It was fine. I didn’t come here to talk, but to listen. I had no idea what I was listening to though, as both a consequence of being lazy and deliberately giving myself a measure of surprise. Truly speaking, I’m not someone who’s used to being within a group of old people. I’m not going to say ‘senior citizen’ either, so you can give that a rest. It was easy that they came prepared, with a purpose to say the least; I couldn’t say that about myself.

So I just sat down, after a minute of introduction, and focused on hearing what she had to say. Marianne herself was someone over sixty, and she looked like it too. There was nothing for me to judge though, so I kept listening. She said that this book was a memoir about a hiking trip she had when she was young, sometime during the seventies. She then proceeded to read out some of the excerpts from the book.

Now I’m not an American, and I’m fairly young, so there’s no way I’d know about what things were like here forty some years ago. Films of that period didn’t interest me either, so you could say I was coming in blind. I did know of hippies, of weed, of vans with doors that open instead of slide, and hiking. So I suppose the generation gap didn’t hit me as much. The fact that the book was a memoir, and to learn of how accurate it was compared to actual perceived history, was regardless refreshing. Especially considering how vivid the scenes were replicated in my head, I was impressed. It wasn’t particularly the writing that was mind-blowing nor was it the content. It was simply because of the soothing scene that was present, and how earnest it all felt.

I didn’t stay too long after, but for what it’s worth, I enjoyed it. Thinking back, perhaps my writing about attending a reading where someone wrote about their own past seemed just a bit convenient. I wouldn’t even say there’s a particular point to this entry, just something I felt like talking about. After all, it has been quite a while since I just took the time off to indulge in reminiscing. It sounds like something an old person would do, but I’d much rather have that experience before dementia sets in.

Just a thought.

The cover sets a tone, don’t you think?


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