I missed school on the day our first readers were passed out, home with some childhood ailment or other. I was heartbroken. I might as well have missed Christmas morning. As far as I knew, I was the only kid in first grade that didn’t get his first schoolbook.
Even before I learned to read, my mother brought me to the Carnegie Library in our neighborhood many times. Standing above Market Street, a grand building of quarried stone, with an enormous entry, looking like a mansion beside buildings square and otherwise unprepossessing, she would hold my hand as we climbed the broad, curved, open staircases from the foyer to the stacks on the second floor. The old wood-plank stairs creaked with an intensity that I can hear now, decades on, a sound that echoed through the space contained by the impossibly high ceiling, a loud report unbecoming a library, a sanctuary otherwise devoted to silence.
The entire place held the fragrance of words on paper.
Together, we selected books, checked them out, carried them home on the bus. And once home, she read them to me. She would hold me and the book in her rocking chair, reading and turning the pages. I fell into each book uncontrollably, into the images conjured by the words and my mothers voice, and the sanctity of being enveloped in her attention.
Thus began the gift from my mother, an affinity for words and language that has only grown over time. For this gift, and many others, I am indebted to her.
The Gradual Day is a place with no defined theme, no specified topics, no agenda. It is a lightning rod, a ground strap, a place where ideas, thoughts, perceptions and imagery can be discharged through the keyboard and logged. It is without definition, purely subjective, unapologetically personal.
While these are not ten second reads, I do not pretend them to be intellectual, not momentous, not important. I offer no credentials. This is not a podium for the articulation of the academic, the revelatory or the singular, certainly not the observations from a life writ large. The perspective is decidedly nearsighted, small, of a world close at hand, the tiny, barely perceptible snail-trail left by one among millions.
The Gradual Day exists for no other purpose than a repository for that part of me which cannot be contained in any other way. It is also a portal through which you may pass into the room of my experience. And my written record of it.
If this is your first visit here, welcome. Please allow me to introduce myself further with The Gradual Day Begins.