What are you reading, and how is it impacting you?
We are constantly reading. Emails and texts, tweets and posts, articles in newspapers and magazines, books of fiction and nonfiction, poems and letters, too, maybe? Some of these things we can’t seem to avoid. Others are of our own choosing.
Now more than ever, we can bury our heads in our chosen sources, reading what we want to read, seeing what we want to see. This is dangerous. Also, now more than ever, we can claim we are too busy to read, avoiding history or literature that challenges us. This is also dangerous. Reading is one of the few things we can do alone that connects us. Turning our backs on it is to deny ourselves and one another a more nuanced, more profound, and ultimately more kind understanding of what it means to be human together.
What we read matters—a lot. Do you think about what you are reading? Do you recognize its beauty and its power?
I started a book that last night that absolutely terrifies me. A memoir titled, I Am, I Am, I Am, it exquisitely renders the author’s seventeen brushes with death. The first chapter taps every woman’s—and every father’s and husband’s—iciest fear. Just those six pages and I carry her story inside me, vivid and throat-blocking. What does it mean to me, now that it’s inside me?
Prior to that I read Paula McLain’s Love and Ruin about the gutting relationship between Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn, a war correspondent and author in her own right. It was a fantastic, illuminating read, and I hate to be finished with it. I miss being with them in Cuba: the sun, the love, the celebrity, the creativity, all of it searing all of us, character and reader alike.
There is so much to enjoy and so much to ponder in the written word. What are you reading, and how is it impacting you?