Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Ready to read.

Ooooch. The Jays are getting murdered, and it's only the second inning. Chacin is back from the Disabled List, though heaven knows why - he was throwing beach balls in Triple A.

I might have to...wait for a book. Oh, no!

I was once an avid reader. Not quite voracious, because I've always been a slow, dreamy, easily-distracted reader. But for the past seven years or so, I have read an average of about three books a year. For me, that's shameful. Here's the deal: with my parents' illnesses, my mother's death, marriage and the birth of my son, I've been on some long emotional trips. I have avoided books because I haven't wanted them stained by my own sorrow or stress. I get so deeply absorbed when I read, and I remember books quite well. I don't want to remember any with mental asterisks next to them.

It took me nine months to get through A Fine Balance. First I picked at it, then I lost it for a few months. Then I read the last third of it in a single day, just under a week before my son was born. The book is full of horror. I wanted it to be over, my emotional reaction to it complete, before I experienced childbirth amd met our baby. Now, the book has enough powerful evocations of horror that I don't know if my reaction to it will ever be complete, but I thought I'd at least try to clean the slate.

Now I'm ready. My brain isn't exactly rotting, as it's mapping out life with this sweet baby, but I spend far too many hours a day on the internet while nursing Iain, or even while he sleeps on my lap because I'm afraid to wake him by moving him. I need to pick up a book and love it, soak up some beautiful words and images, and be dazzled, even if the text does get stained a little by my own anxiety. The conditions will rarely be "just right", but I can't keep denying myself the great pleasure of a really good book.


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