September 3, 2008

In Watermelon Sugar

In Watermelon Sugar by
- Theodore Bihun


I guess you are kind of curious as to who I am,
but I am one of those who do not have a regular
name. Ny name depends on you. Just call me
whatever is in your mind.

If you are thinking about something that
happened a long time ago: Somebody asked
you a question and you did not know the
That is my name.

Perhaps it was raining very hard.
That is my name.

Or somebody wanted you to do something.
You did it. Then they told you what you did was
wrong---"Sorry for the mistake,"---and you had
to do something else.
That is my name.

Perhaps it was a game that you played when
you were a child or something that came idly
into your mind when you were old and sitting
in a chair near the window.
That is my name.

Or you walked someplace. There were flowers
all around.
That is my name.

Perhaps you stared into a river. There was
somebody near you who loved you. They were
about to touch you. You could feel this before
it happened. Then it happened.
That is my name.

Or you heard someone calling from a great
distance. Their voice was almost an echo.
That is my name.

Perhaps you were lying in a bed, almost ready
to go to sleep and you laughed at something, a
joke unto yourself, a good way to end the day.
That is my name.

Or you were eating something good and for
a second forgot what you were eating, but still
went on, knowing it was good.
That is my name.

Perhaps it was around midnight and the fire
tolled like a bell inside the stove.
That is my name.

Or you felt bad when she said that thing to
you. She could have told someone else:
Someone who was more familiar with her
That is my name.

Perhaps the trout swam in the pool, but the
river was only eight inches wide, and the moon
shone on i
DEATH and the watermelon fields
glowed out of proportion, dark, and the moon
seemed to rise from every plant.
That is my name.

In Watermelon Sugar
Richard Brautigan
- 1968

This is an excerpt from a book that I have been reading every year for 21 years.
Though I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite book for many reasons, this is the only book which I have carried for so long and the only book which I have read more than 3 times.
So, I suppose you might call it my favorite book...but I think...rather... that it is my comfort book. It is a familiar place, a familiar voice, a familiar time...
It has a dream like quality to it and I love it.
I thought I would share...



Jane_hates_Dick said...

This is one of my favorite comfort books, too, though I have not read it in sixteen years. I read it for the first time when I was fourteen years old, and my schizophrenic mother was spiraling into insanity. My world was a scary and lonely place, I used to escape in the books on her bookshelf. This book was like a security blanket. Thank you so much for posting this. It moved me deeply.

Cage Free Family said...

You are ever so welcome.


Mr. Baltimore in Exile said...

I am reading the 'grapes of wrath' and wonder if you guys sometimes feel like the 21st century Joads. God bless you.

agreenfire said...

I have never heard of this book, but the little bit you posted makes me very interested in reading more. I'm adding it to my list of books to get from the library.
Thank you.

Cage Free Family said...

You know, Grapes of Wrath is one of those books that I've always been interested in, but haven't read yet.

I'm going to go take a look at that one. I've been in a fiction sort of mood since reading The Alchemist ...which I will definitely post more about...

Robyn said...

I have been reading your blog ever since your Aunt Ann told me about it. Absolutely love it! You and your family are a breath of fresh air in the world we are living in today! Keep it up! And Best of Luck!!

Lance Huffman said...

Ooh, Grapes of Wrath is excellent. Steinbeck really captures the 20th Century American struggle. I think you'll love it.

Thanks for your posting. I am intrigued and I will look for this book to read.

Peace to you and your family.

Sorrel said...

Wow I definitely loved this.
I'll have to pick up this book.
I love you guys! Thanks for the encouragement on my outlet. I'm glad things are as well there as they are with me :)

Jack said...

Need to read that one. My one comfort book is not a comfort book at all. It's the sandman graphic novel by neil gaiman. A little dorky, but every time I read them I am amazed by how much they impact me.


JesseMay said...

I have loved that book for so long and I also try to read it at least once a summer. I also love the painting at the top of this post. Its the only image I could find on the web that has anything do with the story.

Very Best