Has there been some books in your life that were so much more than ‘just’ books in some ways?

Back when I was a college student in Grenoble, I once walked around the library of the langage department, wandering around randomly, and ended up in a tiny corner where there were a couple of shelves with books from Eastern authors… There and then I fell in love… With Marina Tsvetaeva more than anything, but also Boris Pasternak, Tolstoï, Kundera… I read their poetry, their correspondance, their novels, just as fascinated by their lives than by their writing… I wrote some of it down, keeping sentences with me throughout the years…

Back in January, while standing on the little balcony by our classroom during a break, I finally saw it right in front of me… I had been standing there for a few days looking at it but suddenly I finally saw it: the library! THAT library!

As soon as I got a chance, I walked outside and made my way to the building that had meant so much to me… And I followed my instinct: to the left, up to the first floor, up the little stairs and back around to the little area in the corner… and there it was, in the very same spot after more than a quarter of a century… the same books…

I immediately grabbed the one that had stayed with me since then and took it back with me, wandering around campus my nose buried in the words… They had the very same impact on me as they had had before… I felt elated, serene and empowered, grateful and amazed, overwhelmed by this moment where I met up again with a moment from the past that I thought was for ever left behind… I do not really know what name to give to this feeling deep inside… maybe awe, maybe joy… maybe simply home…


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