I’ve moved houses many times in my life. In fact I’ve lost count of the number of places I’ve lived. My books have followed me. I need books around me to feel comfortable. The embodiments of ideas I’ve absorbed, they have deeply shaped my worldview. Once I actually shipped several boxes of books on Buddhism to a pilgrim’s rest house in Bodh Gaya, India, where I studied for a semester in college. Never mind that there was a library on site. I subsequently bought dozens of volumes while in Dehli and Dharamsala, and they traveled on with me too.
Well, this grew old. Not so much the schlepping, but the organizing. Each time I landed somewhere, I had a system for organizing, by author and theme. I could quickly pull a book to illustrate a point in conversation. I no longer do this. Here at the Casa Shipwreck – my current home – the order of books on the shelves is more or less random. In a world of technology that organizes and curates experience, I enjoy some randomness, some surprise. I love it when ideas clash and make noise: There’s Dostoyevsky next to Schteyngart, The Startup of You next to Blindness and even John Berryman’s Dream Songs next to The Age of Spiritual Machines.
Hence, the photos below, presented at random. They are mostly from past adventures, and not in chronological order. I plan to post more regularly. Images tell dense stories in a different way. I hope they inspire some of you to explore the world, be curious, talk to strangers, see if you can be helpful. One of the chief values I hope to impart to my daughter is this: Wherever you go in the world, you are home. You are an earthling, after all.