“…That it is possible to live in a different way: in your own way, part of the world, but not imprisoned by the rules. That you can know the ropes and yet not be hemmed in by them. That you can dwell alongside the mainstream, while not being part of it.”
From: The Stopping Places by Damian Le Bas
Isn’t that it though? What I have spent hours and days and pages trying to figure out for and about myself suddenly appears there in a book while reading late into the night. It continues to surprise me -especially when I stumble across a paragraph that seems to have been written on my very soul- that so many other people feel similarly. I suppose I know that I am not all that unique, not so unusual, but still. The words will occasionally be more than I can handle. They will be so closely related to my own hearts writing that it skips a beat.
I get lost in a good book. Let’s be honest, I get lost in a mediocre book too. As I read the words really do disappear and the story plays in my mind like on an old reel projector. Friends are always recommending these “self-help” books, these relevant-to-my-SAHM/homeschooling-life types of books. While I will read most of those, or at the very least skim through them so that I can absorb the most helpful parts, I don’t want to read these types of books. I mean, I do want to be my best self and I know that educating myself on my chosen way of parenting and teaching has value, it’s just that these books don’t make me want to stay up until the wee hours of the morning wrapped in their words and a blanket.
I want to read some deep fantasy over a thousand pages long. A story so enveloping the world becomes real to me. I want to have a physical ache for the characters when they die or when I come to the last page and realize that our relationship ends when I close the cover. I want to be so enamored with a book that tears freely fall from my eyes, that I gasp out loud, that I can not physically put it down. There is a deep connection when you read a good book. I would propose that the works of fiction teach us just as much about ourselves as any self-help book out there. That they are capable of teaching us more even, if we read them carefully, allowing ourselves to become a part of the story.
“A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic” -Carl Sagan
I’ve written about books before. I am kind of stuck right now, I have these words that I’d like to pour out, but also I am happy just thinking my thoughts, just talking to my husband, just living out what I’ve tried to spell out over the past year or so. That piece of myself that has been writing about wandering, about getting lost on back roads, about breathing deeply has actually been doing those things. It’s been really good. Not in the way that vacationing is good, but in the way following your heart is good.
After having read two books and several articles about why nature is important in our daily lives I was done reading about what I knew to be true, and so we went out and we lived it. This Summer has been a season of adventure and the adventures have been bold and loud and fulfilling. This Summer has been one that I have ached for, it has taught me so much about myself, it has me slowing down so that I don’t get to the last page too quickly. Because even though I know the story doesn’t end as the seasons change, it still feels remarkably akin to the last chapter in a book when you know the next in the series is still a year away from release. You want to savor every chapter, every paragraph, you simply don’t want it to be over.
The comparisons that I’m trying to make are not super clear, I know. As I mentioned the story is here, in my head, but it’s maybe not ready to be written. Perhaps there are more pages in this book of Summer yet to live first? I sure hope so. I would come back to something that I believe I’ve shared on this page before. How the path we walk doesn’t really dead-end when we think it does. How we may need to rest or to look for awhile, but the next step is already there, we only have to be willing to move our feet. Much like the next good book to get lost in. It is likely already written, even if I’m not ready to leave one fictional world for the next, it’ll be there when I am. Yeah, it’s a reach…but it’s good to be back here writing again. I’ll get something better out to y’all soon.
in the end, she became more than she expected. she became the journey, and like all journeys, she did not end, she simply changed directions and kept going. -R.M. Drake