With A Song In My Heart For Bloggerland


The Book 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff is one of my favorite books. Ann Bancroft starred in the movie of the same name and it too is one of my favorites. The book is a series of letters from Helene Hanff, which she always signed (Miss) Helene Hanff in her letters to Marks & Co. in London England. The setting takes place in an apartment in New York City and the topic is Helene’s love of old books. She writes to this lovely book store in London England to purchase special editions. Frank Doel of Marks & Co. starts to adore Helene’s letters and the two develop a wonderful relationship. During the course of the book as you read the letters you feel that you are observing as a beautiful relationship evolves and you learn about the history of the two settings. The wit and clever writing style leaves you begging for more. When I had the pleasure of visiting London some years back I went to Charing Coss Road to walk down the very path of my beloved Helene. To give you an example of the writing in this lovely little volume:

“Thank you for the beautiful book. I’ve never owned a book before with pages edged all round in gold. Would you believe it arrived on my Birthday? I wish you hadn’t been so over-courteous about putting the inscription on a card instead of on the flyleaf. It’s the bookseller coming out in you all, you were afraid you’d decrease its value. You would have increased it for the present owner. I love inscriptions on flyleaves and notes in margins, I like the comradely sense of turning pages someone else turned, and reading passages some one long gone has called my attention to.”

I was thinking this morning about our new world of blogging. We sit at our computers and write letters of sorts to people we have never met across the globe. We get to know a little about where they live through photos and words and start to care about these people. Swaps arrive in parcels from clubs and small groups sharing common interests. Through the ups and downs that we each endure we are able to receive comfort and support to help us through. Each blog is designed to reflect the author and many times it feels as if you just went on vacation for a while. As in Helene Hanff’s letters, I find myself like Frank Doel looking forward to reading blogs belonging to my favorite people. I find myself out for a ride and I will spot something to photograph for someone I have met through Flickr or their blog. Yesterday, I had the good fortune of being tagged to send a mosaic to a group designed to make someone who is hurting smile. Isn’t that grand? I read the comments on that group and these people were so supportive and so generous with their loving thoughts.

I grabbed 84 Charing Cross Road off the shelf this morning and I looked at the cover. What a coincidence, I never realized that I had designed my blog header so similar to the cover of this book. Never knowing that I would sit some day at my computer and write to people I have never met, just like Helene Hanff. People that I have become so fond of through their blogs or photos on Flickr. I always thought it so beautiful that this woman, Helene would develop a relationship through letters. Fascinated that although the relationship had begun for the sole purpose of purchasing books, it soon developed into an intimate and caring relationship. We are very blessed to be able to sit down in front of a computer and visit a land that we have created to share and invite others to share with us. In a world filled with so much trouble isn’t it just grand that we have this resource? One of my other favorite movies is called Brigadoon. In it Van Johnson and Gene Kelly by mistake discover a wonderful place that doesn’t really exist. It vanishes and appears at the will of all the residents. A love story yes, but I was always fascinated with the idea of a place created for only the people who had the ability to see the land. Just like in Lost Horizon the character leaves and returns to their reality only regretting that they might never find it again. By some magical stream of events both characters in both stories return and are welcomed back into their special land by their kindred spirits. Every day that I can sit in front of this lovely Mac and think which blog should I read first and “What shall I create today”, I feel so thankful. I believe that I have found my Lost Horizon and my Brigadoon and I am able to write and read letters just like Helene Hanff did from 1949 to 1969. All this exists in this wonderful creation called Blogger Land. I am thankful to the characters in these books for teaching me a life lesson which is to watch for those special connections in life and to cherish them with a song in my heart.
She'sSewPretty said...

I read your thank you post on flickr. I want to "thank you" for sharing your beautiful pictures with us. Your paintings are beautiful!

molly jean said...

Karen,
This is such a beautiful post! I regret that I read it too late in the day to go directly to the library to get the book and possibly movies!

It sounds like a wonderful plot! I am sure we all know a couple or two who met on line and I don't mean dating service!

I am really enjoying the friendships around the country and the globe!

I read Lost Horizon as a teen and loved it for its improbability! I have also enjoyed the various movie versions in spite of what ever agenda and world view they had. I love The Chronicals of Narnia for the other world and Lord of the Rings and even The Bridge to Terabithia.

Suzie Q said...

Dear Karen, Thank you so much! :) You have quickly become a special part of my online life, and I so look forward to seeing your pictures and reading what you have to say... I only wish there were a few more hours in the day! ;)

You have taken me right back with this post, more than ten years back, to a summer when I was feeling very lonely. I treated myself to the audio book of 84 Charing Cross Road, and lay in the sun, listening to it being read to me... such a beautiful story! I adore books that are in letter form, and my very favourite is called 'Beloved Prophet'. The letters to & from Kahlil Gibran and his friend Mary Haskell. I have owned the book for many years, but can't bear to part with it! I'm sure you would love it...If I ever find another copy, I will gladly send it to you. Now I need to go find Brigadoon and Lost Horizon! :)

I am so glad to share in the 'good' side of the www with you, and thank you for putting it all into such beautifully written words...

Have a beautiful Sunday, Karen, and a wonderful week ahead...

Much Love & a thankful Hug,
Suze xXx

Suzie Q said...

p.s. I LOVE the picture of you! So good to see you! :) xXx

molly jean said...

Karen, I put a link to your blog on mine. So now I can find it easier. Here is a link to my daughter's blog. She is the real writer in the family!
http://reflectivebeauty.blogspot.com/

I don't know how to make a link on a comment so that is the address or you can just go the the link on my blog that says REFLECTIVE BEAUTY. She is a joy in my life for which I am so thankful!

molly jean said...

I agree with Suzie, it is good to see a picture of you. I am going to get brave and put a real picture of me on some day.

molly jean said...

Karen, I was looking at your Random books on the left sidebar and wondered about THE LANGUAGE OF THREADS. Is it about Hong Kong? Would you recomend it?

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