Book It In

I wrote this under the strong influence of wine because my conscience kept telling me that nobody was going to read a piece about book club. Well maybe it’s not about who reads it, but more the fact that I needed to write it, because I’m a passionate advocate of reading and connection. People should read. Children especially should read. For fun or for education, reading is the gateway drug to knowledge on a euphoric plane of something outside of us. (No, I do not condone children taking drugs.) (insert eye roll here).

People should connect on any level that best suits them. These days its mostly behind a small screen at our finger tips but for some, those that aren’t tech savvy and still enjoy the feeling of paper between their palms and people face to face, it’s all about books and connecting on a physical level. It’s all about Book Club Baby!!!!

I implore you…

Read fiction, so you don’t have to be in your own head all the time. Allow yourself the opportunity to delve into something totally relatable and laughable, or unimaginable and mysterious. Sometimes, our busiest days, days of laundry, traffic lights and phone calls, are the days we need our fiction the most.

Read non-fiction: at the very least just to learn something. Read it for an opportunity to find or enhance your level of compassion and understanding, to walk a few pages in someone else’s shoes, to be warned or to laugh so uncontrollably at the mishaps and misunderstandings of others. To travel, learn a new culture or language.

Read a memoir and find yourself coming out the other end being able to better understand or help a friend, to ask more sensitive questions or to simply relate. Even the saddest stories can make you laugh with appreciation.

Read a self-help book, (not my fave) but hey, we could all do with a little self-help, a little self-love and a little “me” time every now-and-then.

FFS read a comedy!! Force yourself to laugh if it’s the last thing you do. And you can read any of the previously mentioned genres to do that.

Don’t rip the comic books away from your children, or the books about boogas and farts; they’re reading. Don’t scoff at your mates that read romance novels: being able to orgasm just by reading, (no pictures) I applaud both the reader and the author. Don’t walk past the top ten most recommended books because out of fear you are conforming, they all do the rounds and the chances are they are actually good. But in saying that, don’t forget to wander: wander through the aisles of book stores, libraries, news agencies, second hand stores or even a friends book shelf, there is some amazing stuff hidden behind those with big colours, shiny covers and fancy advertising. The best books I’ve ever read were by word of mouth.

But I’m here to talk about book club. Do it. Join it. Create it. Reading a book is one thing but being able to take something that is usually an individual experience and turn it into an event of connection, communication, learning and enjoyment…well…what’s better than that?

We live in a world that is connecting us so deeply with technology that we’re forgetting to connect physically. And you know what, that is ok. But when it comes to good conversation, I like to do it in person; when it comes to drinking wine, I prefer social over closet (most times); and when it comes to delicious snacks, I like it when someone else makes it.

When people think of book club they think of old ladies and for some unknown reason I’ve noticed, knitting. When I found myself in a situation where I knew no one and I had no friend of a friend to connect me to other humans, I joined a book club. Book club gave/gives me a short term, achievable goal in a realistic time frame. It gives me something to look forward to once a month. It allows me to drink wine, eat snacks and indulge in good quality conversation without my toddler tugging at my arm. I can be an adult and use my brain and my personality……I can be myself.

So I urge you,buy, rent, borrow, download, swap, exchange or even write a book. Read, listen or be told a story. And then take it to book club and talk about it. Use the easily attainable book club questions for that particular book to prompt your discussion and go for it. The flow will come naturally. The uneasiness of meeting new people or discussing something outside your daily routine of a nine to five office job or wiping your child’s ass and crying into your coffee cup, will disappear within seconds of someone asking ‘So, what did you think of the book?’

 

 

Edge

She Stands on the edge, feels the cliff on her shoulder. She just needs to scull from the bottle, pop from the packet, lick the froth. Just needs a little something to pull her back from the drop.

Prescribed, fermented or brewed: however it comes. Just take the edge off and give her a break from the weight. It crumbles her knees and pulls her down towards the fire. She cannot stand any higher. She aches for a disruption, from the image that she sees, the something she’ll never be.

Let her rest a while. Take pause among the sting the wine would bring, the euphoria of chemicals, the adrenalin of a latte to get her through another day.

She can’t just keep standing there, on the edge.

Sound

She wanted to write a song. She wanted to write words that could carry notes and watch as they snuck around passing them to each other like lyrical love letters.

She wanted to write metaphors that only make sense with your car window down; Anecdotes that relate to every human that dared to turn the music up; Anthems that turn the frightened into ferocious.

She didn’t want to be heard. She wanted to be spoken.

Advertising Ass

She was looking forward to the new body she was sculpting. It was going to be leaner, longer, fitter and stronger. Every morning she walked into the gym buzzing on pre workout supplements, head held high, eyes staring through the men that make up the majority. She takes out her water bottle, puts her earphones in, turns the music up loud and then gets into that glamorous workout position that looks like she is promoting advertising space in and around her ass.

The squat, the hamstring curl, the downward dog all require an ass up in the air position, replicating what her dog does when he is presenting himself to her. Then working on her upper body is just an opportunity to poke her breasts out to the entire room: she tries to see how many glaring eyeballs she can poke out with her nipples. Pow Pow.

Meanwhile, as she faces the mirror and sees the remainder of the gym working out in the background, she sees men lifting weights, doing push ups, using the squat rack and not a single one of them seem to be advertising anything. At no point is any man doing an exercise that makes her look at their groin, ass or chest. She is drawn to their large arms that don’t match their skinny legs and this in turn has her questioning their logic and their body goals. She becomes automatically turned off because they must be idiots to not want to be in proportion. And she has no interest in idiots. Then her mind wanders to more interesting topics.

She can bet that no man is looking at her arms that just so happen to be in proportion with her legs. And they definitely aren’t looking at her eyes. Perhaps, in their defence, they are looking through her the way she does them. But she bets she could make a pretty penny by writing ‘Advertising space for sale’ on her shirt across her breasts and her pants across her ass cheeks.

This does not stop her from going back to the gym every morning. She tells her self that men and women were not created equally and neither was exercise positions.

Face

She didn’t know how to differentiate between her own feelings and that which society had set upon her. Emotions walked through her; a highway with very little roundabouts. She watched jaws being thrown to the floor as she responded nonchalantly.

It’s not that she didn’t feel anything, she felt everything and there was yet to be a socially accepted expression of this.

Time

 

Image by: Deviant Art
Image by: Deviant Art

There is this fear that there isn’t enough time. Not enough time to slow down, to take pause, to enjoy the fruits of our labor, to start over, to go back, to try something new. We are so busy trying to do what is “right”, often by other people, that by the time it gets to ourselves, the hourglass seems to have run out.

But there is time. Time has not changed, it has not become more or less; it has become divided unequally among our “priorities”. I tell myself I don’t have time to have a hobby, a personal interest or a love outside of my realm. I tell myself that when I’m not at work, I should ensure that my family is provided the time they need for the things that they love. I tell myself I should spend more time with my son, pay more attention to the house, ensure my husband is getting the time that he needs for the things that are important to him. The amount of time in a day has not changed; I just divide it unequally among my “priorities”.

I have to create my own time. Time will not recreate itself for me. I have to add my hobby, my personal interest to my list of priorities because of the way it makes me feel when I’m doing it. I have to acknowledge the love I have for the creativity inside of me and let it stand alongside the other loves of my life: my family. When I do this, time becomes available to me.

If I make me a priority, then time will make me a priority.