Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Curiouser and curiouser

OK.  I've always had an active imagination.  I mean I questioned everything, and talked to everyone to find out the answers to my life's queries---as a child I think I told you that I never napped, but 'visited' my neighbours in my neighbourhood.
These generally were the women who were somewhat grandmotherly in age, but I think they were as curious about me as I was about them.  Maybe it was because I was the only kid around who wanted to spend time with them and ask them about my life-long questions.....sometimes they had the answers, but mostly they were as curious as I was.  I used to tell them sometimes that I was jealous of them, because they would probably meet Abraham Lincoln long before I could- refer to my blog:  A sort of tribute - -http://jan-whyilovemylife.blogspot.com/2010/10/sort-of-tribute.html

When I would say that, I thought I was sharing an important thing with them, and I was excited for them, but they never seemed as excited.  Perhaps Abe didn't mean as much to them.  Whoever did though, they would have an opportunity to 'talk to' long before I ever got to heaven.  In those days, kids just didn't die until they were old.  Unfortunately, and mainly sadly, times have changed - but I'm getting off the subject.....

Anyway, in my quest for my answers I explored my neighbourhood and spoke with as many people as I could.  In those days, there wasn't such a thing as strangers - at least not there.

Eventually I became old enough to have a library card, and after 'doing my time' in the children's section, reading all the regular books put out for my age, I began exploring the rest of the library - the larger collections where there were novels and texts and maps and things far more interesting than what I was allowed to read.   I used to grab one of these books or maps and take them into the reading room, which was a room with long tables and green shaded lamps, and had a clock on a mantelpiece that would chime every half hour, and then chime out the chimes according to the time on the hour.  Sometimes I would just stop and wait for the clock to chime, so that I could watch it, but sometimes I was so busy reading that I forgot to listen.

(I now wonder why I was allowed to spend so much time in that library - I don't remember my parents being there--maybe, out of frustration they would just drop me there, do their shopping and come back and get me.)  Anyway, I never had any difficulty doing what I wanted to do there, and  also discovered Civil War exhibit rooms upstairs in private rooms, with unlocked doors, and walked around mystified by the knowledge that was in this building.  I knew I could find my answers here.

I would try to check out some books from the adult area, but the librarians there weren't as friendly as the ones in the children's section, and when I would then take my book to the children's librarian, she would look at me perplexed, and tell me to go choose a better book.  As a consequence, I had to do most of my reading in that reading room, and try to find my answers in a way that would make sense to me. 

I think my curiosity started, way back when I was about 4 or 5 and my Mum introduced me to Alice in Wonderland!  In Alice, I found a kindred spirit, and as I got a bit older and began to read about her adventures in Wonderland, and then Through the Looking Glass, I knew that I was right to be curious. 

As I have gotten older, I have been fortunate enough to better define my queries, and have some of them answered sufficiently.  But not imaginatively.  Sometimes, it's the imaginative answers that are the best.....I think so anyway!

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