21 October 2011

Some Understanding

Read for pleasure at least ten minutes every day.

I've mentioned this advice before. It was good advice, and I adhere to it well in Boston; reading on the T during the commute home has been a part of my routine for a while. But last night I realized why this advice was so important for me.

I have a thing for Salman Rushdie. No surprises there. But it's been a little while since I read any of his work (though I did purchase Luka and the Fire of Life last week), and I'd forgotten how much I luff him. I started Midnight's Children last night, sitting on the church gym floor eating Flipz and Dr. Pepper. It was uncomfortable, the basketball game going on was loud and entertaining, and I was a little concerned I'd get run over or hit in the face. But then I started to read and the world melted away:

Now, however, time (having no further use for me) is running out. I will soon be thirty-one years old. Perhaps. If my crumbling, over-used body permits. But I have no hope of saving my life, nor can I count on having even a thousand nights and a night. I must work fast, faster than Scheherazade, if I am to end up meaning—yes, meaning—something. I admit it: above all things, I fear absurdity.

And there are so many stories to tell, too many, such an excess of intertwined lives events miracles places rumors, so dense a commingling of the improbable and the mundane! I have been a swallower of lives; and to know me, just the one of me, you'll have to swallow the lot as well. Consumed multitudes are jostling and shoving inside me; and guided only by the memory of a large white bedsheet with a roughly circular hole some seven inches in diameter cut into the center, clutching the dream of that holey, mutilated square of linen, which is my talisman, my open-sesame, I must commence the business of remaking my life from the point at which it really began, some thirty-two years before anything as obvious, as present, as my clock-ridden, crime-stained birth.

Words and the power they carry, especially when wielded well, calm my soul. The awe I felt for Rushdie's ability to tell stories last night dissolved all the residual angst from the week, and it enabled me to completely realign my focus on my life. Reading helps me to be me.

There's more to life than books, I know. But not much more.


  1. Have I told you lately that I love you?
    Some how your blog slipped off my radar for the past couple of months. I've spent the past 40+ minutes catching up on your life.
    I need to read myself some Rushdie.
    I've gotten sidetracked from Gone with the Wind. I started reading the Mistborn series.... and it is VERY enthralling. I will give Scarlett the attention she deserves in due time.
    What are you doing for Thanksgiving?
    I can't believe you're seriously done with your MASTERS in 6 months. How did that happen?

  2. I'm happy to know Rushdie helps you be you. I had a hard time getting through those two paragraphs so I'm not sure I could make it through a book. LOL.

    Actually . . . it reminds me of a poetry book I bought last month. Reading the words and trying to figure out what they mean is difficult; but, reading the poems out loud, listening to the way the words flow together is absolutely beautiful.

    I'm sure Rushdie's words flow beautifully and understandably in that amazingly smart brain of yours :)

  3. I can totally tell a difference in my life when I don't read for pleasure consistently. I need reading. Obviously.

    I haven't read Rushdie before. I think I need to give him a try.