Now I have rested this big hardcover book on my desk to be looked at and remembered for a week, maybe several weeks, as if this will keep the spector of the gang of characters inhabiting its pages lingering nearby, chatting through some extension of a scene from within as I struggle to keep them fed and vivid before accepting their need to return to the water, that place where they all live, fading away from immediate view. They will all become ancestors like that. Then I will place this book on a shelf where it will carry on in quiet conversation with the rest of the books that have preceded it there.
Fortunately, I know this kind of reading and this kind of book from way back. There were years that reading such books for massive chunks of hours and listening to and playing music in various states of being and locales for equal chunks of time were the core elements of my full-time job in construction of self -- supplemented, of course, by a job dishwashing or waiting tables which provided free food, a handy and easily adaptable swirl of colorful friends, and a bit of money with which to stay afloat.
That's what songs and books are for.