They say books take you places. But this story of a book pin came as quite a surprise. Last month we got an e-mail asking for a new book pin:
Please let me have another one. My earlier beloved one was lost during a fall down a cliff in France.
To say the least this piqued my interest.
Of course we can get you another book pin. That sounds like quite a story, and I hope that losing the book pin was the worst of it.
I asked for more information on the color and let her know how to order the book pin online.
She replied (complete with paragraph indents):
Thank you, Reed. I ordered one today — brown, a beautiful rich brown, hopefully with a warm undertone of orange.
A playwright gave me your pin for Christmas 2015. There has never been a gift I loved more and I wore it everywhere, including a cliff in France last May. There was something at the bottom I wanted to see and did, though a lot faster than intended. The other climbing ladies at the top said the scree broke loose and I cartwheeled twice, bounced four times, then rolled, fetching up against a bush at the final drop-off. The pin, my glasses and two bottles of rose continued on.
By the time a couple of the ladies rappelled down to assess breakage, I was sitting up considering the future, whether there would be one. They roped me on down, summoned an ambulance, which was red and loud and tremendously exciting, and we sped to Aix for repairs. French hospital food is so good (starting to slobber slightly here) that when the nurse came with discharge papers after two days I swore I was still far too injured to leave but they did not buy it and gave me the boot. The view out the window was of palm trees and Mont Sainte-Victoire, Cezanne’s mountain.
The ladies searched the foot of the cliff the next day and the day after but recovered nothing. Without the glasses, France for the rest of my first trip looked like an Impressionist painting, not a bad thing though there was a little annoyance with curbs, but helpfully, one of my 22 French words was “merde.”
You would be amazed at how an arm broken in five places and a pitiful expression puts you on the fast track through airport security. In fact, the only down side of this whole trip was loss of the pin, and you have remedied that. Please pick out one that seems to be flying.
It’s what books do.
Thank you again,
You don’t get stories like that every day. When I let her know I could ship soon, she was happy:
Your pin will arrive by May which is wonderful, because in May it and I will be back in France, in the Luberon.
We have a date with a cliff.
Postscript, a few weeks later:
It should come as no surprise that a book lover like this should also recall and practice the art of the beautiful hand-written note (click the image for clarity).
It is a sheer joy to make things that evoke such responses and will be so treasured.