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The book that launched the Book of the Month (self) Challenge.
Bought the book at Barnes and Nobles at the beginning of October 2013 on a whim. Literally left the house and drove to the nearest B&N to purchase a book. Any book. Bored was I. With nothing particular in mind I browsed the fiction shelves until Herman Hesse. Decided on a Herman Hesse book having read Siddhartha several years before. Steppenwolf? No. With a certain unknown familiarity Narcissus and Goldmund appeared. The old school art on the softcover. The stout width and thick depth of the book and makes you eager to hold in your hands.
Weird, but the pages of the book have an odor maybe even parfum-like. Something to wonder about.
Check. Prefer over hardcover ’cause I can’t use my hands to bend the hardcovers to my will nor twist and turn them. Definitely softcover.
Love, Senses, Art, Nature, Death.
All the things in the natural world covered. Largely and expose on that it may mean to be alive and interact with the world, start and adventure, and live as you wish.
And still more, I’d like to die with you. Drink me to the dregs, beloved, melt me, kill me!
Blood spilled from his chest and neck; from his mouth life ran out in delirious, weakening sighs.
Discovery and Life Choices.
The story is entirely about self-discovery and choices made to that end and the very end. Those choices compared to the steady and constant progress of your nearest friend. Your friend has his life path already determined. While you drift in whatever direction your soul curves to.
Goldmund wanders the earth and consumes it with all its experiences and vices and dangers in medievil times. Narcissus the barometer to which Goldmund compares his life oversees the very cloister where he and Goldmund studied in youth. Mirror opposites in life.
It is worth a re-read? Yes. Re-read it and also reassess what is important to you.
And so the it begins.
CHALLENGE: Read one book each month for one year.
Shit tastes like a magic circus fair cocaine. Portion control or prepare to overdose. Damn right its exclusive AND limited!
There’s a history of cocaine + ice cream so much so that ice cream might be more addictive.
Five hours north of South Florida is a mud puddle called Jacksonville. An decent one. I’m being harsh. Deep appreciation of well maintained highways sets between the very edges of Indian River county upwards to Jacksonville. Makes you kinda proud. Tall trees along both sides north and south bound lanes. Roads free of junk and clear lane demarcations. Simple functional rest stations. And this being Florida the drive is largely a straight line with the occasional curve and mole hill.
I suck for posting this two months late. It’ll happen again. It’s habitual.
Getting around Jacksonville was super convenient. Slightly exaggerating there is one traffic light every two miles. At least this was the experience shuttling from Southside to Orange Park. Here’s an overly generalized observation: Orange Park is working class perhaps a little slummy while Southside is new construction, shoppes, manicured.
Taking in the northern coast beach and MOCA where my only humble goals of this trip.
Soft white powered sand characterizes the beach. The sand is as hard as a flat surface; hard enough that many early birds ride their bicycles on the beach. So don’t expect to sand castles and getting buried in sand. That is clearly out of the question. Plus there is nearly a football field sized distance between the edge of civilization and the ocean. This open space is the beach. The sunrise was nice and plenty of tourists and locals woke early to be rejuvenated and inspired by it.
Downtown Jacksonville was a let down. Maybe ’cause it was Saturday and downtowns in small mud cities usually empty on weekends. Regardless, downtown seemed a little blighted. Next to MOCA Jacksonville on the same block same attached building is the public library. Across a public center with circular fountain sans green space. Its relatively small. First impression driving on the street separating museum from the public center was the commotion at the library so much so that I initially thought the library was the museum. ‘An active art crowd. Great!’ I thought. It wasn’t the museum. Homeless locals hang out at the library and public center. Well, yeah.
Three of the five floors are exhibition space. The boutique cafe inside was closed. The front desk was very nice. She explained everything and genuinely welcomed me. Head down doing something as I entered she raised with a smile.
Admission sticker on chest and MOCA Jacksonville floor plan in hand she eagerly tells me of her favorite piece since I asked for suggestions. Climbing the stairs to second floor offers nice view of the a Heather Cox Winter 2013 Project in large open exhibition atrium.
Quiet and lonely. Aside from security there was just one other museum patron. Eyes glance down, Mona Lisa frown. While I really enjoy art and museums I can’t say that I can intelligently critique art. My observations are of level of effort and thought the artist takes in creating their art. An appreciation and interest in their time and effort and skill. Hardly do I search for the concept or attempt to calculate their inspiration. In the permanent collection of MOCA Jacksonville are a series of Richard Anuszkiewicz paintings on second floor display. This was the highlight of the visit. That and the cute refreshing girl in the gift shop. Do Google, Wikipedia, and YouTube Richard Anuszkiewicz and then you too can name drop Op art.
Let’s talk about something important. The girl at the gift shop. I would. I didn’t. She gave me a tip of the Black Sheep restaurant in the Riverside neighborhood a few minutes from downtown. Its a trendy artsy areas. I’d live there. Did a drive by and it was packed. Didn’t eat there. With Black Sheep in the review view mirror the red narrow front door of a psycologist’s made me stop and take a picture. Look at my picture.
It changed and I really like it. Nearing 83 degrees and the ocean was slightly chilled. In to get wet. Out to dry. And again. Just lovely.