“The sounding cataract haunted me like a passion”
( Wordsworth, from lines composed above Tintern Abbey, 1798.)
Words are my passion, mainly English words, but I also love the suggestiveness of some French words
and the guttural assurance of German.
I love the way a simple word can have such different colourings, as in saying:
I have a passion to know things. This can be taken to mean “on a need-to-know basis” which takes
on a legal or workplace tone, or “seeking to know” as in the quest for knowledge, which takes on an
academic or philosophical tone, and is more of an abstraction.
My passion for words comes when I am reading or watching a film. A town or an event will be
mentioned and I need to know precisely where the place is located, the date of the period being
covered, or the scientific truth of what is being discussed. It is an immediate itch that will
scratch until I have looked it up in either an atlas, a gazetteer, an encyclopedia or google for
more recent events. If I am reading, I can settle this matter quickly, then read on. In the
case of a film, I will make a note and then look it up later.
This passion to know, so that I can fully understand, keeps me very busy. As an example, I
recently watched a Chinese film on SBS. It was set in Shanghai in 1927-1945. It started with
the Japanese encroachment further into Manchuria. It had fairly inadequate sub-titling. I had
a personal interest in Shanghai because my step-mother had been imprisoned by the Japanese in
the French Concession in Shanghai during the Japanese Occupation. As soon as the film finished,
I drove to the Sorell Library and ordered the book “The Penguin History of Modern China”, which
I am still ploughing through.
My passion for words led me to becoming a librarian, so I have spent my whole career helping
others to share my passion about information and how to best obtain it. It was the best profession
possible for me.
I am at present working on the topics of:
Early Australian history
Early Tasmanian history
The hype and the true science behind global warming
Timber industry in Tasmania
Changes in the floor of the Tasman sea
Population in Australia……to name a few.
It is a great passion and not expensive either!
©fmcFrances Coll 22-9-2010