Yesterday, I came out of the house to find ashes falling from the sky. I don’t live in Northern California where the fires have ravaged thousands of acres and destroyed thousands of homes (and it’s still happening), but in Southern California, we had the Anaheim Hills fire yesterday that turned the sky this eerie shade of light brown and rained ashes.
It was the perfect time to stay indoors and write, or in my case, after my fingers got tired of typing and I’m still getting the hang of dictation, I got in bed and buried myself under the covers and read a book. One of them was The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman, a collection of essays and talks he’s compiled into a book. Some of them are familiar, maybe heard during one interview or another, while some are new.
I like how this quote encapsulates why someone like me writes, especially when times are tough and we need “hope or wisdom, or kindness, or comfort.”
But there’s another book that is totally captivating me right now and this one is A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. It’s a story about a curmudgeonly old man named Ove who has stolen my heart. I’m listening to the audiobook and the narration is flawless. I laugh, I cry, and am so touched by this story that I am glad to read/listen to it before seeing any movie based on it, whether it’s one that you can stream on Netflix or the Hollywood version that will star Tom Hanks.
“People said Ove saw the world in black and white. But she was color. All the color he had.”
“To love someone is like moving into a house,” Sonja used to say. “At first you fall in love in everything new, you wonder every morning that this is one’s own, as if they are afraid that someone will suddenly come tumbling through the door and say that there has been a serious mistake and that it simply was not meant to would live so fine. But as the years go by, the facade worn, the wood cracks here and there, and you start to love this house not so much for all the ways it is perfect in that for all the ways it is not. You become familiar with all its nooks and crannies. How to avoid that the key gets stuck in the lock if it is cold outside. Which floorboards have some give when you step on them, and exactly how to open the doors for them not to creak. That’s it, all the little secrets that make it your home.”
– Fredrik Backman , A Man Called Ove