Thursday, August 4, 2011

Open Books

I've noticed that my blog entries have become a little more personal lately. I've let my guard down a bit, reached my arms out wider, then cursed myself for allowing too much exposure to the sun.

But I'm realizing this all probably means something, and I've been dully but tenaciously obsessed with those signifiers. Why such a short fuse these days for things that should only be mildly irritating? And why such indifference to the things that used to bring such joy: A clumsy but warm exchange with one of my Spanish-speaking neighbors; a piece of funky public art hung covertly in the alley; a poignant moment at the grocery store with the morning produce guy.


In the midst all this ennui, I've rediscovered reading. Lorrie Moore. Miranda July. And people I'd never heard of before, like the incredible Samantha Hunt. Their characters are like friends who, for those generous moments we're together, demand nothing of me.

Maybe it's because I spend so much of my life these days facilitating meetings, delivering talking points, negotiating, fielding people's questions. My voice is in overdrive -- so ramped up in volume and frequency the words are like chewy, marble-sized bits of cartilage I have to break down, atom by atom, till I can swallow them down or spit them out.

So I've rediscovered the library. I've also renewed my verve for movies -- just sitting in an air-conditioned matinee, sometimes all by myself, letting the scenes and minutes wash over a rapt and passive me. Perfection. These days I want to watch, look, and listen. I want to respond privately, quietly, and keep myself from lapsing into the words, words, words that seem to be my habit lately.

It feels right somehow. Like this is what I'm supposed to be doing with my time. Now if I could just find someone to pay me a decent salary for peace and quiet, I might get my pluck back a little.


leslie said...

I believe it's called battle fatigue. Happens to the best of us, and I know my threshold would be nowhere near as generous as yours. It's important to remember that we can't always be on output. Input is necessary. Enjoy your popcorn! You've earned it.

Christy said...

Thanks so much, Leslie. You always know exactly the right thing to say. You're also a good reminder that scars heal and paths get refreshed. Hooray to that!

Rosemary said...

I have been reading nothing but British mystery novels this summer, and finally made my peace with that late last week. To paraphrase Woody Allen (albeit in a creepy moments), "The brain wants what it wants." Enjoy!

tracy said...

Library! There's something about those crinkly plastic dust jackets that I just love.