Drifting away from this blank space sometimes is too easy. The good news is that I have been taking good care of myself and I am merely distracted by work, appointments, and self care rituals which have become commonplace in my life these last six months or so. My bookish yearnings keep me going, there is always more to discover, more to books to curl up with, more to add to the shelf. I am happy to say I am keeping well. I hope you can say the same.
As you may know, I applied for graduate school, I have yet to hear back, but I am anxiously awaiting their reply. I supposed I am prepared to reapply as soon as I get word. In the meantime, I completed an online Bibliotherapy course, which equips me with the tools to prescribe books to myself and anyone who would like to try it out with me, so if you’re interested, give me a shout. I’m a novice, at best, but at least we could talk about books and feelings in a constructive and safe way.
In addition, I have begun another online course, Indigenous Canada through the University of Alberta. I am a few lessons in and the information presented is already fracturing the lens that those social studies textbooks from high school projected. I wonder what the text books are saying today… are they the same ones only with an updated cover?
When you open up your social media, please remember that the world is a complex and complicated place and it is not your responsibility to solve the issues at hand. It is easy to get sucked into the amplified horror that is daily life worldwide, but remember, you can only change what you can control, thus there is no use fretting over what is out of your hands. Fix what you can change, if that means eating less meat or taking transit to work, then do that. Fix things in your life and make your world a better place, if everyone around us did that in effect things would get easier. Start small, it is doable and you will feel the changes immediately instead of worrying about what is out of reach.
And remember to breathe.
Take in the scent of your surroundings, perhaps add a book or two. I have added cedar scented candles for some extra comfort.
Now, I love reading. I love books. The smell of fresh paper and glue, the smell of decaying paper and glue, the deckled edges, or the smooth feel of a modern page, but of course, overall, the words within. I like to think I am creating a library, a collection of sorts, it has grown and shrunk and grown again over the years as my tastes have changed and as I have needed money, some books were sacrificed so I could live and study, but I find myself again growing my collection. This makes me happy.
Last night I began reading How Literatures Begin: A Global History by Joel B. Lande and Denis Feeney and I am so glad I found this. I often drift from one book to another before finishing, maybe I am easily distracted by beautiful books, maybe I just want to read them all simultaneously, but wow, this is a beautiful read so far. My literature / literary theory section is growing and this makes me smile.
One of the best decisions I made during the pandemic was joining the Verso Book Club. I recommend it to anyone looking to grow their library or expand their readings to include books they may not have chosen for themselves. It sort of reminds me of obtaining the course reading list, a selection of books chosen for you that you must read, and it is freeing to take out the pressure of choice in a land of unlimited books, and simply to begin reading.
Sometimes it is best to focus on the little things, close that window to the untouchable outside, and wander back inside your own world for a while, with a book that can take you anywhere. Bookish meanderings are the safe spaces in which I hide my mind. Perhaps that is why this blank space is avoided, it is the words that bring me comfort and escape. It is here that I must make the spaces relate and introduce the void of the white screen to my personal library. Why not take a Capricious Pause, a lot of deep breaths, and pick up that book you have been meaning to read?