For December, we were to read Bridge of Birds, by Barry Hughart. January's pick is The Journey To The East, by Herman Hesse. Because of the aforementioned holiday markets, I did not find time to read Bridge of Birds before Christmas and chose not to bring the rather large library book with me on vacation. Instead, I slogged through the much shorter book by Hesse.
The narrator of The Journey To The East tells the secret story of belonging to and travelling with a secret society. It appears that this society is on a journey to the east in search of spiritual enlightenment (or something). Amazon.com says Hesse used "mesmerizing prose". Personally, I had a difficult time getting through the short 118 pages. While the narrator was trying to find meaning in his life, I was trying to find meaning in the book. As I look back on my bookmarked pages, a few kernels of life lessons are starting to pop out. Maybe, The Journey To The East is one of those books that you have to read over and over again. Each time, you find something the missed. I'm not sure about that and doubt I will read it again.
At one point in the narrative, the narrator, HH, recalls holding "a bundle of a thousand knotted threads" As I reread that passage, I'm still not sure if he actually held the knotted threads or there is some deeper meaning to it. At any rate, the image stayed with me and I knew I wanted to do something with knotted threads. I wasn't sure what materials or how and still had a week or so before returning home. I also got an idea of color towards the end of the book when HH describes the entrance of the President of the League as he awaited judgement. He wore a "festive robe", "sparkled with gold".
I dug the last of my gold silk cord out of my stash, found some lapis, blue glass beads (I think african trade beads) and lovely gold and blue enameled beads from the now extinct local bead shop and went at it. It seems I was headed more for regal than festive.
The result was this long two-strand knotted necklace!
Once again, Andrew's choice of books inspired me to try a new technique.
Although, I can see the flaws, I am pretty exited about how this turned out. I'm looking forward to trying it again!
Don't forget to check in with the other participants!
Andrew Thornton (our fearless leader)
Mary K McGraw
I'll add more as they post. Andrew usually will have the full list!
Also, I hope you will think about joining us next month!