Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Bookbinder

The swish-swishing of her skirt brushed her ankles with melodious comfort. She smiled, her bare feet pattering across the worn floorboards. It was still dark, morning's light at least another hour off. The kettle was on and the water was just beginning to dance. Poured into the battered ceramic mug -the one with the chip out of the handle- it opened up the tea leaves, the jasmine petals, sending the exotic fragrance upward, up the staircase before her.
Pit-pat went her feet. She sat the mug down on the table and ran her hands across it's smooth surface, worn shiny with age and use. The board had been found at an estate sale, pulled up from a cellar, cast aside for the garbage pick up later in the day. They'd given it to her, said it was of no use to them. Lovingly she brought it back to life, gently rubbing beeswax over the lines and grooves. Stories were etched in it's fibers and she strained hard to hear them in that early morning stillness. If only she knew the language she'd be able to understand it's tales, enjoy the ruminations of the forgotten once tree.

Upon its back she placed the supplies: leather, waxed thread, needle, end papers. The paste was oatmeal thick, coating first one side of the chip board, then the other. Finely textured the papers were laid, bone folded and smoothed. An awl punched holes, almost evenly, down the spines of carefully folded papers. Some of their edges were torn, some were smooth, herbs in that one, threads of a favorite yarn in this one. It came together, slowly, as the sun rose and the mist burned off the autumn leaves. The leather, supple to her nimble fingers, conformed to the boards, binding to the codices. The clamp in place, she sat back and smiled. Another volume bound, waiting for someone's stories. Her trade labeled her "bookbinder" but she knew herself to be one who fashioned keepers of dreams.


  1. Jen - That is so beautiful. A lovely little story, full of rich details. It painted a very clear picture in my mind.

  2. nice post friend!!!!!

    please visit me back.....
    Culture of INdonesia


  3. I enjoy so very much the way you paint the story with your words...this was beautiful.


  4. that really was amazing. i love your details

  5. Hey DG! Thanks so much. These posts just happen. I get an idea and run with it. I'm glad this one worked :)

    denysmacool: Thanks for visiting. I'll be happy to stop by. It may take me a bit, but I'll definitely take a peek.

    Thank you Jermaine. I'm so glad you liked it.

    SPEAKING: You're too kind :) Thank you very much for the compliments!

  6. Jen, that is absolutely lovely! I want to read more!


  7. Thanks Carla! I may just have to turn this piece into something longer :)


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