There's a new stack of books on my dining room table. I'm leaving them there. As a reminder to take them in my hands and smell the pages and read the words. Because quite frankly, I see a reflection of where I'm at in life in that stack of books.
It's been going on for awhile now. Without my remembrance of a specific start or reason, so I'll go with awhile as the time frame. I can't read. I still very obviously know how to read; what I mean is I haven't been able to concentrate long enough or allow myself to be still for the amount of time needed to read more than a few words. At first, I chalked it up to being too busy at the end of the school year and then I chalked it up to it's summer and I want to be outside and doing doing doing. Now, I chalk it up to losing a small fraction of who I am.
Because words. Words are my thing. Always have been. So the fact that I have been struggling with delving into a book is disturbing to me. I'm not proud that I haven't actually finished a book in at least half a year. In fact, it freaks me right out. I start them. I try. With the best of intentions every time. And I can't do it. The underbelly of the positive aspects of the whole I can get a lot done because I can think of sixty-two things at one time can be harsh.
So I'm working on it. Relearning how to settle my mind of life thoughts and let them wander into the book and get lost there instead. Relearning how to be still without jumping up to do this or run to get that right quick. Relearning to stay on one task for more than three minutes. Relearning how to be with a book taking in the words for what they are meant to do. To weave a story or a cautionary tale or be a how-to of sorts or teach. Letting the words serve their purpose; instead of reading the words to my own ping ponging thoughts, only to read them again and possibly even one more time because I can't get them to stick.
I have been at it for a few weeks now, working on getting it back. I almost finished our book club book before the book club meeting. Mind you, a year ago, this would have been a lose for me. Not a win. But after not even starting the last five or six books, it's a total win.
And this week I've been taking some time. Making it really. I went to the bookstore and perused around until finding a few to be mine. It felt amazing. My old philosophy of picking books shined right on through and I was wearing a flowy skirt and it was stifling hot outside but I was in the cool of the bookstore leafing through pages and turning over covers and feeling like some of that small fraction of who I am is falling back into the place it belongs.
When I arrived back home after the bookstore, I choose one book from the stack and gingerly carried it along with a patio chair to my backyard. Nervous almost, wondering if I'd make it more than a page or more than a chapter. In my nervousness, I found the part of the yard where the sun was still doing its thing. Because I believe in the sun.
There I sat. Reading. Actually reading. Into the story right away. Noticing passages which tugged at me, taking the words in, and doing something with them. And that something not being rereading. Unless they were that dang good they needed a second time.
After about three chapters, I jumped up. To do two things. Number one being I texted my friend with a, "Three chapters! Three whole chapters! I did it." Because I wanted to celebrate a small victory with someone who knows how important it is to me. Number two being running into my house to grab my camera because I knew it was a moment I wanted to remember. I was a happy little lark being still in that chair reading my book and I wanted it captured.
Here's where I admit a different fraction of who I am took over then. The one that is called there must be a way to GET this feeling with a picture. That one came rolling right on through and stomped out the reading.
But you know what? I'm totally alright with that. Because that's who I am. Small fractions of loves and passions and quirks and misgivings.
That's who I am. I flutter. And I get distracted. But it's who I am and it allows me to notice the small things and I never want to lose that part of me because then I might not notice the sun absolutely reflecting off my way too many bracelets.
Or I might not notice the fluffy things floating in my yard. Fluffy things are pretty and are worth taking the time to hold up to the sun. Worth being distracted by. But I just want to make sure my constant state of distractability isn't taking away the other fractions, the other parts of what makes me...well, me. One of them being reading words. So I'm working on it. Me and books. We're getting back our relationship.