On waking this morning, I forbade myself to turn on my tablet and surf the headlines. A novel on my nightstand persuaded me to pick it up instead. I obliged, and less than half a page later, a light went on inside, and I could breathe again. I laughed and cried with the characters in the story that I absorbed like a hummingbird seeking nectar—my manna from heaven. My senses came alive; my critical judgment withdrew; my pessimism took a hike.
Along my reading journey, a pothole appeared, and I fell right in. In the novel, there was a reference to another novel by another author the character loved. Since I was now fully immersed in the reading, I just had to know if it was a real book to appease my serious book addiction. So I picked up my Ipad and googled it.
Big mistake. Those newsy, noisy headlines roared back all around me, pulling me back into their swamp, appealing to my desensitized self. So disorienting. Finally, I pulled away the clinging one-liners, the latest rumors, the enticing suggestions of a mega scandal. I climbed out of the media fever dream back to my original quest; the existence of a novel the character in the book I was reading felt was outstanding.
Yes, it was a real book and possessed a living breathing author who had her own blog, which I immediately visited with a click. As I read it, I felt light filling me up again. Some themes evoked terror and grief and forgiveness and betrayal and justice and honor and the deep well of love for a child wrapped around me. All those experiences that define our lives and identities and memories and beliefs. Excellent writing does that.
Later walking my dog, I watched the crows doing their maneuvers; the squirrels focused on their next task. The flock of green parrots approaching made me shake my head and laugh with joy. I was awake, aware, in the moment, basking in God’s light and thanking the universe for showing me a path to beautiful verses, heartfelt songs, emotional scenes, and enticing hooks. Thank you, universe, for great reads, which help me breathe, smell, taste, and feel - again, and again, and again.