Remember the house where you grew up? Not the awful one. The wonderful one. It could have been your own house or apartment. Your aunt’s, your best friend’s, or somewhere you stayed with your family on a trip.
Wherever it was, it has to have been some place that awakened a spark in you: A dream. A longing. An urge to remember and to possess.
My friend Ed grew up on New York City’s Lower East Side. His neighborhood was a hodgepodge of immigrant groups. Mostly Irish, Jewish, and Italian. He came from a burly, two-fisted clan that measured masculinity by the six-pack and condemned anyone interested in the arts as being unmanly and effete.
But Ed loved to draw. He loved to read. And he loved to visit his friend’s apartment, because it was filled with books. Books piled high on shelves like offerings to deities of the intellect. Books in an atmosphere that somehow helped a boy who had not lived among them to grow up and conquer the world they represented.