Tuesday, July 24, 2007

on reading

It occurred to me to feel a little silly about how deeply invested I am in the Harry Potter series -- my anticipation, my midnight tryst with hundreds of other fans (of all ages), and my dream of sharing these books one day with my child/children. I will say that I don't know if I would have sobbed quite so loudly if it hadn't been, well, that time of the month. But what of it? Why not cry about a book? About a ten year investment in a gorgeously developed gang of characters?

So the feeling of sillyness came up, and I looked at it, and thought, hmm, how interesting. And instead of shame, a wave of gratitude for READING, and writers, and books gracefully rose to the surface. My mother and her mother have modeled reading for me my whole life. I don't ever remember not reading as a child. And looking back, at the hundreds of books I have read, and the many, many I have reread, I think -- what a gift. All the complicated, difficult feelings I experienced as an adult -- reading saved me. While I didn't have the skills to negotiate the depths of my depression (or life) induced misery, I could READ.

I don't know how many times I read the Anne of Green Gables books as a child and teen. As an adult, I read and reread Ellen Gilchrist. Sometimes, books were like air -- I'd gulp desperately and finally, breathe easier as I turned the pages.

Sometimes, books were a way of numbing out, to be sure. But more often, I think, reading was an escape to something. A place of presence and meaning, of authentic emotion.

done for now,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you are so eloquent with your writing, I enjoy it as much or more than I enjoy reading anything else. someday millions of people will agree with me and anxiously await your next book or your next posting online.