27 September 2012


It's a Moby kind of morning.

I glimpsed a small portion of a book on a friend's* Instagram feed and knew, just a few words in, that I had to read it. (See? all the tech-mess in this world is good for something. In fact, I like to think of my Instagram feed as a time capsule, a connector, an anthropological tool of sorts.) Isn't that, in itself, kind of miraculous? Speaking of miracles, the title of the book is The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. It is usually read to second graders over the span of several class sittings, but I sat at my desk yesterday and read it in about half an hour, then subsequently cried. I didn't quite sob, but tears definitely left stains on my cheeks. I'm not going to give anything away because you, dear reader, must read it. Suffice it to say that there is a china rabbit doll named Edward who travels through years, over miles, and between several shades of emotion.

Here is the passage that I saw on that tiny Instagram screen, which was underlined by a then-stranger but which I knew was meant for me to read at that very perfectly particular time......

"I don't care if anyone comes for me, " said Edward.
"But that's dreadful," said the old doll. "There's no point in going on if you feel that way. No point at all. You must be filled with expectancy. You must be awash in hope. You must wonder who will love you, whom you will love next." 
"I am done with being loved," Edward told her. "I'm done with loving. It's too painful." 
"Pish," said the old doll. "Where is your courage?"
"Somewhere else I guess," said Edward.
"You disappoint me, " she said. "You disappoint me greatly. If you have no intention of loving or being loved, then the whole journey is pointless."

And here is the string of words that I would underline, were I not reading it from a copy that belongs to the school.....

"Seasons passed, fall and winter and spring and summer. Leaves blew in through the open door of Lucius Clarke's shop, and rain, and the green outrageous hopeful light of spring...
Edward Tulane waited. 
The seasons turned into years.
Edward Tulane waited. 
He repeated the old doll's words over and over until they wore a smooth groove of hope in his brain: Someone will come, someone will come for you."

* thank you, Megan. Renaissance-pretty crying lessons forthcoming when I see you next.