Sometimes, when I’m sitting very still in the projection booth – let’s say I’m statuesque – I can feel the building breathing. The rumble of some large truck down Main Street or an abusive wind, something strong and slicing, forces itself into the brick, the plaster, the concrete and rebar. The sound might be volcanic. It might be hollow. Or silent. And a vibration rises in the carpet, my chair shakes, my knees buzz at the skinny joints. I’m suspended in a swaying room, dangling high in a bird cage, and I remember that things move for a minute.
It’s a groundbreaking revelation. Don't laugh.
I usually think things like sidewalks and streetlamps and staircases are stagnant. We rumble like pin balls around fixed objects doing human stuff; everything else is just different manifestations of manmade rock and boulder. But that’s not true. We just have rodent hearts, frantically tattooing in our chests, and we’re deliriously busy keeping up with them doing the Life.
But there are things like cells and molecules and atoms – and those are thrumming away always in every fork, book and silent bench. And the world spins.
Let’s stop with that last one. Here: debut novelist Karen Thompson Walker thinks not. Imagines not. Wrote not. Celebrating the paperback release of her first book, The Age of Miracles, Walker will share her poignant vision of a planet Earth suddenly slowing its rotation this Wednesday, January 23rd at Carmichael’s Bookstore.
Touted as both a staff favorite from the folks at Carmichael’s as well as some big shots like Oprah, The Age of Miracles is an evocative look at humanity as the day-to-day struggles of ordinary life mesh with the mind-blowing changes of a planet now slowly turning and slowly dying in space. Following the coming-of-age of the teenaged protagonist, Julia, Miracles imposes the trials of simply growing up in the tangle of human experience over the fantastical backdrop of an Earth in environmental upheaval as the spinning of the planet inexplicably slows. Starting at 7pm, Walker will treat customers at the Frankfort Avenue store to a special reading and signing. Copies of The Age of Miracles are available in hardcover for $26.00 and now in paperback for $15.00.
Life is bouts of fidgeting on a stage of dirt and stone. We move because we have to, and we move because we’re wired to. We think we’re special because we can outrun trashcans and lampposts with how alive we are. But it all goes on, with or without us, on smaller, subtler stages, turning. And you can go on in tune with it if you happen to be sitting very still – statuesque – in a projection booth.
Carmichael’s Bookstore has two area locations: 1295 Bardstown Road and 2720 Frankfort Avenue. For more information, visit the event page  or call the Frankfort Avenue store at (502) 896-6950.
Image: Courtesy of Carmichael’s Bookstore website www.carmichaelsbookstore.com