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Book: "The Museum Of Extraordinary Things." By Alice Hoffman January 12, 2018 - February 7, 2018 -

the world begins again Dear Maureen, I hope that you are finding Richmond, Virginia, a pleasant place to be. I was delighted to hear that Mr. Morris inherited all that his family owned, and I was so happy to receive the photograph of you standing beside him in your wedding dress outside the house where he grew up. With all its flourishes and the many balconies surrounded by white wrought iron, the house reminded me of a wedding cake. I myself am married now, and happily so. Our service was small and I did not understand many of the customs, but I understood my husband’s love for me, and mine for him. For us, that is enough. Sometimes I dream I am back in the museum and there are flames and I can hear the tortoise crying, but I know it’s only a dream. I know a tortoise doesn’t have the capacity to weep, or so the scientists say. But I am less of a believer in what people say these days. I want to see the proof. Now I judge the world through my own eyes. There are still rumors about a creature in the Hudson. They say it was caught, and for a little while it was kept in a tank in Brooklyn, before that world ended in fire. While the fires burned, the creature dragged itself over the low dunes, searching for water. But others say that water was not the element it needed, and that it was searching for love, for love changes everything, and forces us into lives we never imagined we might lead. In the village where we now reside, in a valley beside the Hudson, there are rumors as well. People whisper about a woman who swims in the deepest channels, one who can hold her breath for so long she seems to disappear. Where we are, the river runs silver and it is wider than I would have ever imagined. It seems to go on forever; the current travels only one way, to the south and the harbor of New York City. When darkness falls, and the sky sifts down into the river, the woman who swims in its depths holds on to the side of a canoe that drifts toward her. She pulls herself into the boat, where a tall man is waiting in the fading light, for he is an expert in matters of light and darkness, a master of seeing through shadows. He spies her every time, even when the sky is murky and she is invisible to all other men’s eyes. The water here in the north Hudson is so cold that it’s common knowledge no human can withstand it, only creatures of the deep, miraculous things that cannot be categorized or kept under glass. I dream about the wondrous people that I knew, and the shelves that were laden with butterflies and bones. Most often, I dream of that extraordinary night flower I had the privilege to watch bloom. In my dreams the flower is alive, with a bloody, beating heart, all of its life lived intensely and with great beauty, over in mere moments, as I now believe ours is as well. A lifetime is a lifetime whether it lasts one night or a hundred years. I know we lived among extraordinary things but, perhaps more importantly, in extraordinary times. People may or may not remember the heroes and the villains of our day, but all that the brave among us did, and all that they were, remains with us still. We had a year in which everything changed, when the world shifted and became something new. We no longer expected cruelty or mistreatment. We expected more. I give thanks that the Professor’s manuscript burned on our last day in Brooklyn. I often look up into the night sky and imagine that every spark that flew upward from the burning paper became another star, for the nights seem far brighter to me now and the sky is dashed with heavenly light. I know what he did to you. I will never mention it again, for it seems unthinkable that a human being could be so sinister in his actions and so evil in his intentions. It happened in the years of cruelty, when we didn’t know there was a better life. You were only a young woman when you met the Professor, and he had a side that could convince someone his approval was worth any price. I, more than anyone, can understand that. Perhaps this was his greatest trick, to be two people at the same time, the cruel person who betrayed those who came close, and the man who presented another world, one filled with miracles and books. Professor Sardie surely charmed you when you first encountered him; he made you believe in him, he was a conjurer, after all. You were ambushed by how brightly his attentions burned. When a star reaches for you, it is difficult to look away. high waist empire wedding collections with sleeves