Wednesday, April 04, 2012


A series of moments in the last few days concerning reading. Per usual in my first drafts of story telling, all the verb tenses run helter skelter. Run? Are running? Ran? (sigh)

Scene: Whim Cotty Kitchen. A Monday Night growing later, a feeling similar to a weekend.
It started with me telling a story of how I saw a group outside of the theatre building tossing a volleyball in the air while reciting a Shakespeare monologue. Kaitlin and I went into raptures about his language and we all started to compare favorites. We talked about books we read in middle school. "Sign of the Beaver" "Shadow Spinner"  "Phantom Tollbooth". We go back further to elementary school and how "The Giver" terrified us the first time we read it. We go back further. "Puppy Peek Aboo" "Chika Chika Boom Boom" "The Red Ripe Strawberry" "Daddy Makes the Best Sphagetti". The further we went back, the fewer books we shared in common. But we remembered words. We remembered illustrations and vivid colors. We were all read to as children. And we all identify as "readers" today.

Scene: My bedroom
The night turns like summer and I am a limp bundle of muscle and skin and bones after a three hour ballroom semi-formal. Deep content. Too fatigued to want anything more than the dancers fatigue I'm slipping through. I think back over the dances: This chacha. That fun dance. This viennese waltz. That samba. This conversation. That tango lesson. This show case. That laughter. This bruised and aching foot arch. That jagged toe nail. The sleepiness and the watchfulness reminds me, somehow, of a moment in "Gaudy Night" by Dorothy Sayers. I find it tucked in with some other novels on a shelf in the library and read the scene of Harriet and Lord Peter Wimsey in the punt discussing the case. Then I open to another section of the book and read a scene. These are vivid places that act almost like memories in my own life. Within a few pages, I have turned to the beginning and start re-reading the book from page 1.

Scene: Whim Cotty Living room
Melanie and Kaitlin and I are all doing independent work, quietly munching on a peanut butter brownie and typing away. I find this article through twitter: Want to Do Meaningful Work? It's on the blog of a writer I've admired since high school. The guest blogger posits this thesis: doing meaningful work in the world means continuing to read. To be travelers, movers, empathizers, one has to read and read deeply, things that are challenging and good. It's somehow assuring to believe that the mystery novel I'm ankle deep in right now is somehow an important aspect of my everyday job.

Scene: Whim Cotty living room. Saturday afternoon
"The Two Towers" is playing while I do work on my computer. I look up to notice a hand gesture that Aragorn uses to express respect and grief. I laugh quietly. I forget how much those books and films have influenced my aesthetic. They came along at a strange middle place between age 12 and 15. I dressed as an elf once and ran around our yard in a rain storm. Should I find it odd, then, that my language and my hand motions mimic this constructed world?

Scene: Walk up the block to my car
It is warm and morning and there are birds. I think, "It is time to re-read 'The Secret Garden'. It's that time of year again."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Chicka-chicka boom-boom....great read-aloud. Happy to hear you enjoyed it too.
Barn Dance also...did you read that one?