Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

This should be especially smile-causing to octoberland

Just finished a book called A Guide to the Salem Witchcraft Hysteria of 1692 by David C. Brown. This book wasn't interesting, but how I got it was. At least to me, and because this is my blog I get to tell ya.

I found the book on a bridge.

I'm a walker who finally moved to Portland in 2001 and was in a close-to-ideal walking environment for the first time in years (really, Eugene had been the last really good walk-to-places place for me, and I left in 1996). I've since covered a lot of ground in town.

"Ground" is a general term also covering bridges, which often go over water, which is above ground but you're not thinking about ground when you look down off of bridges at lots of water. Plus, if you're me, you're careful on bridges because of the vehicle traffic. Plus, of course, the views are cool. So I look around a lot on bridges.

Several years ago I was walking across the Ross Island Bridge south of downtown Portland and found, coverless, that book. Sitting on the railing. Almost certainly left there deliberately, not thrown; a thrown book almost certainly wouldn't have landed so perfectly, would probably have slid off and gone down, down, down to all that water, never to be seen or read again. Instead, just there. Just left. I picked it up and flipped through it, getting my hands a touch dusty. The subject and the circumstances intrigued me enough that I picked it up and put it in my backpack and took it with me and, eventually, home.

Finally read it during the past week-and-a-half. Not as interesting as the circumstances described above. Not very well written, plus it assumes the reader knows more about the Salem witch trials than I do.

Makes me want to read a better book about the witchcraft hysteria (octoberland? elionwyr? Suggestions?). Also reminds me that a year ago I was in transit to Salem, Massachusetts to visit octoberland, a visit I recounted here. Beautiful, intriguing town shown to me by a beautiful, intriguing person. Makes me smile. Much more than that book. Except for how I found it.
Tags: books, peregrinations, portland

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