Thursday, June 16, 2011

What I Need Now

At some point in your adult life you may have been witness to the depression era mentality in your grandparents. In my family this manifested itself in my grandmother bring every uneaten roll and pat of butter back from the dining hall at their retirement home and putting it in the freezer just in case. After my grandfather died we discovered a shoebox of pencil stubs- not even stubs as there was NO pencil left just the ferrule (had to look that up!- the metal part that holds the eraser) and the smallest speck of eraser. There was also a filing cabinet drawer filled with nothing but the cardboard backs to notepaper pads. None of these things had any use but to my grandparents they were a mental buffer against impending doom. A way of feeling safe.

We in America are fortunate that the majority of us have not grown up with that kind of fear. In fact, some younger generations have grown up with so much that possessions have no meaning and entitlement is the prevailing emotion (but that’s a whole other post). Still, for most of us there are situations that can agitate our primal mind, create fear, and evoke the feeling of want or lack. For most there is an anecdote. For some it’s dangerous- booze, pills, other drugs. For most it’s more innocuous. And because it’s all about me I’ll share mine.

And maye a hot guy to bring you cool fruity drinks so you didn't have to stop reading.

Books. It doesn’t matter how many I have in the house or the likelihood that I will ever have a chance to read them. I am deeply comforted by seeing them around. I feel safe. At some point, because I get them at the library, I do have to either read them or let them go but then I can wander the aisles and find thousands more I might like. 

In fact, I’m at the library right now because today is one of those days. To be blunt I’m having a bit of a freak-out and there is only so much my husband can handle. Plus I was pretty sure I was going to have to slap someone before the afternoon is over and it would be less stressful for my marriage if I chose a stranger (people here are so nice I could explain and they’d say it was all right).

Back to the books. On my nightstand right now I have: Buddha by Deepak Chopra, If You Were Here by Jen Lancaster, An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin, and Anecdotes of Destiny and Ehrengard by Isak Dinesen. PLENTY to get me through a week of night-time reading but I still went to the shelves and grabbed two more books I’d heard about and wanted to read: Rich Boy by Sharon Pomerantz and Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue.

And that’s just fiction. I could go on about what’s on the to-be-read shelf (yes, I know exactly how that makes me sound) in my reading room (again, I know... I’m a freak) where I keep daytime (I’m just digging myself in deeper and deeper, aren’t I? If we were kids you’d have to beat me up) non-fiction books. Instead, I’ll leave you with some soothing (for me), joyful images. Maybe I’ll even forego the slapping, take a deep breath, read something, and go home.

What soothes you? What is your go-to stress reliever? Your binky?

Nirvana, mecca, Valhalla. I don't even know where this library is but I could live there.

LOVE this but would like less art more books. Maybe more windows too.

A library in the midst of nature- fabulous. But what's with the desk and chair? All you need is a hammock or couch.


Niki Hudson said...

I have a similar obsession. One of the things that drew me to my current dwelling is the wall of built in bookcases in the spare bedroom. They are filled up and then some! I can't stop myself from purchasing books and I can't bear to part with the ones I already have--they're treasures! So, the stacks grow stacks and the room gets smaller :) Let's hope I don't have to move again any time soon!

Keep your habit--it's a great one! And have a lovely weekend,

Mila said...

I'm sorry you are having a rough time of it. If I recall when I was visiting your fair city, there is an area, a park square with giant shade trees. It is off from a popular shopping area north of a riverfront. It is my perfect park. Wooden benches, people napping on its lawn. The perfect place to read.

Strolling among rows of books is soothing. My favorite binky is oggling fashion and style magazines or treating myself to a pedicure.

Go gentle on yourself.

Abby said...

I actually posted that same exact quote about a month ago, as I truly believe it with every ounce of my being. For me, there's nothing like reading. Put me in a chair in the sun or huddled on my couch with something of quality to absorb and I'm in heaven. You described it much better than I did, by the way.

Nature leaves me feeling the same way, as despite my minute attention span, I can sit outside (in the sun, again) and watch my surroundings and feel that sense of peace. It calms me, which isn't always easy to do. Yoga and writing help as well, if in the right frame of mind.

Anyway, I'm glad you can still connect to this, as sometimes during shit storms we forget to open an umbrella--or a book ;)

Catherine said...

Mila- fashion/home/beauty magazines are a close second to books! And I can get them at the library! It's a win-win.

Niki- built-in bookcases? That would be heaven!

Abby- I used to do yoga 5 days a week and know how much it helps. Still cannot figure out why I stopped and why I cannot seem to start again. I just read...

mssharealot said...

Reading and writing (they go hand and glove...) are two of my favorite stress-relievers! Great post!

Jenny Stephens said...

Hey girl! New follower on facebook google connect! I have a svid love of reading and any place where books dwell too. I LOVED this post and your posts are excellent! :) Sure hope that you'll stop by my little place, connect with me too, and stay in touch! I enjoyed poking around more than I should have...STELLAR blog!

Jenny @ Jems From Jenny

Catherine said...

@Jenny-I'm always happy to have another follower in my little corner of craziness. Thanks for stopping by and I will check out your blog!

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