On Sanctity and the Voices of the Dead

Dear Future Publisher,

Sometimes I wander the stacks.

Have you ever done that?

Sometimes I reach out my fingers and run them up and down the spines of so many silent voices.  There is a weight to all those words.  Those waiting volumes are sanctified.  They are relics, like the limbs and bones of saints, broken up and stored in matching cases in churches where the hush of devotees honours their presence, and honours their holiness.  Each book a piece of the author that wrote it, each one a relic of some person who chose those words with care.  Each one a single piece of flesh, a lone bone, a strip of muscle from the being of the author, laid out in a row on a shelf, so many holy relics with so many different names.

I honour them all.

I wonder about them, about the people behind those words.  I wonder about the time when they were like me, a voice with no one to hear it.  An author without a publisher, lone and lost and fighting to be worth a place in those hallowed shelves between those tomes.

I think about you, as I flip through pages stained by so many other readers, or pages fresh and crisp, as yet unread by any, perhaps, but me.

I think about how you might arrive, and pluck me from obscurity, and catapult me to a place of recognition.  How you might make my words into a relic to be placed in a temple like this one.

How my words might last.  How they might outlive me.  How they might be borrowed, and read, and used, and how they might be of use.

I’m not looking for anything in particular, as I wander.  I just like to look at the books, to see their real and undeniable presence, and to know that this is the future I want.  A place here, among thousands.  A spine of my own sticking out on the shelf, to be stroked by the fingers of some other person, a reader or a writer or a lover of books.  Another devotee to the written word, wandering the aisles of this church, looking for answers.  Looking for truth.

Do you wander the stacks?

I am drawn to them, like an insect to light.

They call to me.

They whisper with their diverse voices, a soft cacophony like the gentle turn of pages in the wind.

I want to be among them.

But I need your help.

-Signed,

Author

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