A Coffee and Some Reading Friday
I have a vague memory of being a small child – we were still in the old farmhouse – and reading a Winnie-the-Pooh Golden Book (remember those?). It was upside down, the words on the page meant nothing, but there were pictures of Winnie, Christopher Robin, Piglet. It’s a blurred snapshot, but a happy one.
I went a long stretch where I wouldn’t sign books out of the school library if they did not contain illustrations of some sort. It’s why I have yet to read classics like Anne of Green Gables. C’mon, L.M. Montgomery – Laura Ingalls Wilder had illustrations peppered throughout her Little House on the Prairie series. Why couldn’t you do the same for Anne and P.E.I. for this (then) picky third-grader?
I also remember reading books in grade one, squished up against Mom or Dad as words were sounded out in a chair in the living room of the new house. Mom was (and still is) a regular reader. Dad can always be seen at one point in the day with the newspaper in hand. Reading was never portrayed as a frivolous pastime. It was good. Maybe even necessary. (And better than always sitting in front of the TV. I may have been the one who heard that the most.)
A woman I know once shared how after the death of her eldest child, she quit reading, fiction in particular. She had always been a voracious reader, but after such a hard loss, she believed she’d get lost in worlds of make-believe and never return to the land where one less was living. With time, she started reading again. Now she knows the worlds of make-believe are places to visit, not places to live, to hide indefinitely.
I’ve often tucked myself away in a good book (or blog post or short story or …) when I’m stressed or overwhelmed or simply needing a bit of a rest. It helps to settle my thoughts to pick up the words and cadences of another’s voice for a while, to visit stories both fictional and true. It can alternately solidify my perspective, change/tweak it, or give me a brand new (for me, at least) way of looking at something.
It’s good to see past the end of my own nose, even when there are harder things to be seen, reflected upon, or faced for the first time.
I think we all need to read in order to better write. Even if our words are mainly within the construct of things ranging from Bible study or lecture notes to work e-mails to grocery lists. Reading is like listening. And as with any conversation, there needs to be a healthy give-and-take. A mutual, honest consideration of what the other is saying before sharing our own thoughts or ideas, experiences or dreams.
Words matter. After all, we’re all made in the image, the likeness of God (whether we hold to a belief and knowledge of Him or we don’t). And words matter to Him. He is the master wordsmith, I think. His Son Jesus is even referred to as the Word, being by His Father’s side as stars and skies and life was formed.
However you read – keep reading. It’s a good thing, whether it’s words from a page or the voice of another reading them aloud for you to hear. Learn, grow, and share them.
Happy Friday, all, and happy reading!
*Feel free to ignore the links, you non-Doctor Who fans – it’s okay. :-)