Fiction felt a little lost on her these days. The peaks were weak and the endings were unfulfilling. Yes she could pick them up and put them down without having lost all sense of the story line. She could tend to her children, put on the washing or get sucked into the monotony of everyday without losing her place. There are perks to today’s fiction. In these times of busyness, short attention spans and tiny bursts of consecutive minutes, today’s fiction is just enough to make you say, ‘Yes, I read’. But she was lacking. No longer the girl that could sit around all day, head down in a world of other peoples imaginations. Now a woman who wanted to fill those tiny quiet moments with truths, wisdoms, inspiration; She herself, was becoming a whole new genre.
There have been moments in my life where writing has been as simple as breathing. An inhalation of a spontaneous idea has exhaled through my pencil and onto paper in the form of words. It is those moments, while often far and few between, which propel me forward. When the darkness befalls, dressed in fear, taunting me that skill, talent or even perseverance are all just make believe and that I’ve no right to move or be moved by the power of the written word; I breathe. I breathe in the memories of a poem I wrote that hangs on my mothers’ wall or a simple sample of words that captured a friends feelings and I remember that perhaps there is no skill or talent, but there is absolutely perseverance.
Some days, the act of breathing alone is conjured purely by perseverance.
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?’
He turned water into wine; of course he did! Yet here I am replacing my wine with water in the hope to eradicate the leftover baby weight that shimmies on my hips. If I thought it would do any good, I would give up eating altogether; replacing food with wine. Like a fly, I could float to the tops of glasses on the bubbles of Champagne, flutter in a delicious frenzy amidst a dry Chardonnay or allow the fruity essence of a Sauvignon Blanc to cause my eyes to turn inwards and my body belly up; sigh.
He turned water into wine; of course he did.
Her limbs refused to hold her; they just hung around her body feeling sorry for themselves. Listless she slumbered on the closest piece of furniture that would keep her from the floor; too close to the ground and she feared she might melt into it and become the underlay of other peoples paths. Her face palmed into the crook of her shoulder as she slouched upon the kitchen counter. Today she would just be a body, a shell.
Nudge her and she will fall.
Let her sleep a while.
She wrote a love story on tissue paper.
She wiped away her tears with every word.
Her desires were without logic. Sacrificing happiness for sensibility she lived undesirably illogically.
To live without life for the sake of logic.