Monday, September 7, 2020

Words Everywhere!

 Q: Where do you normally read?


- from Susan


It would be easier to answer a question about where I don’t read. I’m sitting at my desk right now. There’s an ACLU magazine to my left, a bird book to my right, Mother Jones on the floor waiting to move up the ladder of my attention, and about 30 unread books on the shelves right above me, hollering that it’s their turn. Next to my bed is a delicious new mystery I treat like chocolate candy, plus four other books that I dip into before bed some nights – poetry, Zen, and a thoughtful memoir that is best taken in small doses. 


Downstairs, on the dining room table, there’s my latest book that I’m reading to try and understand how to become an anti-racist. On the coffee table in the living room, a lovely literary stroll through Paris food (a Christmas present) and another non-fiction gift book. Nearby is the latest Opera News, which I’ll read while I eat breakfast in that space.


I used to listen to audiobooks when I spent a lot of time in the car: an hour-long commute to Mills College in the 80s, a longer commute when I worked at Santa Clara University or during my consulting years. I kind of miss that – not the driving but the time to listen.


Truth is, I will read a cereal box text if that’s all there is! I do wonder sometimes if I have the capacity to be mentally quiet, to practice Zen mind. But I just got back from a masked, hour-long walk around the lagoon with no ear buds, just looking at the wildlife and wondering how much of the air I was breathing was polluted with wildfire smoke. When I got back, I came to my computer because somewhere on that blessedly word-free walk I realized without intentionally focusing on it how I could solve a problem in my current WIP.


These are difficult times for all of us. Reading is my balm. So is writing. 


Stay safe, stay healthy, and please help keep others safe and healthy!         


And if you want to escape the heat and smoke and virus, consider an arm chair reading trip to Burgundy the two weeks before Christmas. I guarantee you'll feel the cold!


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