It seems only fitting to christen this journal's commencement with an introduction to its author.
You may call me Madame Bon Vivante, although if you ask courteously I may provide you with my Christian name.
I was born the Spring of 1985 much to my dismay, as I am ever more convinced that I was born in the wrong era. I speak and write fluently in English, Portuguese and French, and understand Italian quite well, so feel free to converse with me in any of the four.
I will be starting my third year of formal study in the fall, my area of concentration being English Literature. Regretfully, I am on academic probation as I spent most of the year plagued by a constriction of the chest which was only recently diagnosed as generalized anxiety and panic attacks. I attend the formidable Brescia University College, which in and of itself is a reprieve from most modern schools; its main claim to fame nowadays is that it still houses a small group of Ursulan nuns who reside in the top floor of the dormitory and teach at the school. It was at one time a women-only college, but as times have changed so has that policy; boys however are only allowed to take classes there in their first year of study or in the case of a certain class not being offered on the main campus of Western University, our mother school.
We may not have Big Ben here in London, Ontario, but we do have the Western Bell tower, which looms over the Forest City quite nicely in its own right. Like our predecessors, we also have the Thames River, although I would like to imagine ours is much cleaner, as you can actually see through the waters.
London has long earned its place as the best city I have lived in during my twenty-two years on this earth; it has somehow kept pace with our advancing times while still maintaining a firm foot in the past which can most notably be seen in the preservation of nature and of the architecture which so beautifully decorates the streets.
It is a town founded on the basis of education and medicine; Insulin was discovered here by Mr. Frederick Banting, and our university is one of the finer schools in the country.
For those that like their musical trivia, it was in London that Johnny Cash proposed to June.
It is a town with an illustrious history which I delve into more and more as the days of summer pass, discovering new corners of it almost every day.
As of late, my favorite place to dawdle has been Springbank Park. During these bright summer days one cannot help but wander its gravel trails while admiring the river and taking in the smell of green earth. The small wildlife is also a thing to behold as most of them have become accustomed to sharing their wonderful dwelling with humans and so have lost their skittishness which makes for great photographic opportunities, if you like that sort of thing.
As for myself, I am like many youth; an idealist, an aesthete, and a dreamer. If I had my way, I would languish all day over books of subjects that vary from Alchemy to Roman history, taking minuscule breaks to sketch my imaginings or to politely consume a light lunch; at night, I would sit amongst friends of like mind, enjoying fine conversation and even finer liqueurs and tobacco. If I was forced to work, I would merely publish my fiction, although the tomes would be few and far between as I find myself unable to finish any writings that I start.
Alas, I do fear that the infernal need for money and success which has been impressed upon me by my parents will have to take precedence, at least until I can find a place away from their watchful gazes to live life how I see fit.
By now you can surely see that I enjoy the more delicate aspects of life to those worldly possessions which most of society is so consumed with on a daily basis; of course I am not immune to this consumerism and often times find myself blindly following the pack of sheep in front of me, although I have recently been breaking away little by little, wandering off into my own little corner of the pasture to gaze up at the clouds.
There are things in this world that please me greatly and among them, these are the ones I can scarely breath without; friends, music of varying styles, good educated conversation, humor and wit, and of course, art.
My tastes in music are as varied as the foliage in some remote jungle; I adore Vivaldi as much as I adore Throwdown (look them up if you are curious). I can appreciate any song that has had thought put into the lyrics and notes, although I am not above the catchy ditties that are meant solely for dancing in front of one's mirror.
The same is true of my passion for film; of course the golden days of movie-making are nothing to be disregarded, I can also appreciate more modern fare, so long as the plot is well-organized, the characters well-developed and the cinematography unique and spell-binding. My collection of films is at times predictable, but I do pride myself on having some more underrated pieces that most of my companions scratch their heads at me owning.
As one can assume, my passion in life is literature. I will readily admit that I prefer flights of fictional fancy over often times drab realism and history, although I make a few exceptions. Hesse has never ceased to amaze me, Dickens will always be found on my shelves, and Poe will go with me to the grave. Not to mention Voltaire, who I have come to have a great appreciation for as time goes on. Although I've never dared pick up War and Peace, I do love Tolstoy's Anna Karenina.
Though perhaps more economical with their language and imagery, the authors of old hold a much larger grasp in my collection then do the ones of our current time.
I fear that letter writing has become somewhat of an obsession for me as of late. It has become somewhat of a lost art in my eyes, one that I will readily nurture as much as I can. I hand-decorate my letters and cards and sometimes, if I feel that the recipient of my message will appreciate it as much as I do, I will even go so far as to apply a wax seal to the envelope. It is one of my favorite pastimes, as most of my acquaintances can attest to.
Many of my cohorts will attest to my morbidity. I do bask in the darker side of the human mind more often than most, although never to the point of, say, a Jack the Ripper-type character. I adore Vampiric lore, old anatomy charts, ancient creaky houses, tales of ghosts and witches, and the somewhat horrifying past of the medical profession with special consideration being given to sanatoriums and asylums. I tend to think of death much more than I suppose is natural, for it is something I am dreadfully afraid of.
In closing, I welcome you to my virtual parlor of sorts. Feel free to stay as long as you feel is needed.
Mme. Bon Vivante
A delightful introduction. May I have the honour to stay in this most magnificent parlor and add you as a friend? You can add me if you want.
Currently reading: Miklós Szentkuthy's "Black Renaissance."
Currently listening: Charles Avison's "Concertos in Seven Parts done from the lessons of Domenico Scarlatti", Cafe Zimmermann,Alpha label.