Wednesday, August 31, 2016

hundreds and thousands

"I'm just going to read for a bit," I say to my husband.
"Emily Carr's book," I add.
He looks suspiciously at me.
"I'm feeling sad already," I say by way of explaining.

I love Emily Carr.
I thought I'd read all of her writing.
Then I discovered This and That: The Lost Stories of Emily.
I rushed home and commenced reading.

I discovered that the real title for this collection of stories was to have been Hundreds and Thousands. It was the title she chose, the title she wanted but she died before it was published. It is absolutely fitting that someone else decided upon an entirely different title. It is somehow reflective of a good deal of Emily Carr's life and I feel a little bitter about it on her behalf.
Emily Carr was an enigmatic, whimsical, talented...no....gifted, charming, likeable....no....lovable woman. Her family...no....her sisters, were not.
My heart broke into tiny little crumbs when I read this collection of short stories.

Tears trickled down my cheeks and I sniffed and coughed the first time I tried to finish it.
I didn't do much better the second.
Then I dipped in here and there, reading a happy snippet or two and a great gray melancholy settled like autumn rain.
She had so much to give.
So much sweetness.
Hundreds and Thousands.

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