When I first decided to participate in the Sunday Salon, I thought it would be easy to find time to both read and write about it on Sundays. I mistakenly thought I read quite a bit on the weekends. But I've since realized how wrong I was! Last Sunday, for example, I only read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Go Away, Big Green Monster!...though I did read them both at least six times. This weekend we have houseguests, so it's even harder to get a few pages in.
But I did manage to sneak away and read some of Orhan Pamuk's Istanbul: Memories and the City, which I got from BookMooch. So far I'm really enjoying Pamuk's very personal style. In speaking about his family's apartments, he describes the gallery of family photos kept by his grandmother. Once enshrined there, a family member's photo was never moved. His musings on the family photographs resonated with me:
My prolonged study of these photographs led me to appreciate the importance of preserving certain moments for posterity, and in time I also came to see what a powerful influence these framed scenes exerted over us as we went about our daily lives...(I) was pulled in two directions, wanting to get on with life but also longing to capture the moment of perfection, savoring the ordinary but also honoring the ideal. But even as I pondered these dilemmas--if you pluck a special moment from life and frame it, are you defying death, decay and the passage of time or are you submitting to it?--I grew very bored with them.I'm not very far into the book yet, but I appreciate Pamuk's blending of memoir with the history of his beloved city. His gift for description makes the city come alive--and makes me want to visit Istanbul someday!
I was also inspired by Pamuk's writing about his city to include a photo I took of my own city. In it I'm parked along Hollywood Blvd, and the Hollywood hills are behind me in the mirror, veiled in a typical Los Angeles haze.