The Landscape of My Reading

Like everyone, I have a life to live. The love of reading and inquiry are the twin beams that hold my wagon together as I trundle through this impossible landscape of life.

I used to dream of that special place to read. Depending upon what I was reading at the time, that special place may have been a forest glen, a lounger on a ship's deck, near a window in a tower, or a cozy couch near a cabin's fireplace. I yearned for that special place. I finally told my closest compatriots that my idea of a perfect vacation is to read in exotic places.

Earlier this year, I cried over plans for a three week trip, some of which time to be spent with a daughter and her husband because I could see three weeks of vacation all looking at things and places--vacationy stuff. Then, I took my life in hand and informed my traveling companions of my wish to read in exotic locations. I even asked for and received my condo with a fireplace and a balcony with a view of the Atlantic. Ha! I forgot something quite simple. I have a love of driving too and have the most experience driving in huge cities among all of us. So, I drove the others to all of their vacationy things and places. The exotic locations I read in were: Parking lot in front of Barnes and Noble in Houston, Texas, Home Depot parking lot on Galveston Island, Texas, Live Bait Shop, Mobile Bay, Alabama, half a day at daughter's condo while waiting for wash, Parking lot at St. Augustine's Fort, Florida, Parking lot Outlet mall, north of St. Augustine, Florida and many other similar locations as well as those precious two hours on condo balcony and one hour in front of fireplace.

And what was I reading? My own first novel written eleven years ago. That was an eye-opener. (I recommend you do the same and appreciate your progress! Change in our writing abilities is so incremental that sometimes we don't realize how far we've come.) Research on marketing strategies, techniques, and principals for our businesses came next with a development of strategy to oust the illegal vendors of illegal wheat seed using marketing strategy. Technical inquiry on different types of information transfer from point to point with resulting decision to use i-pads with Facetalk to communicate between guy in field with broken equipment to guy sent for parts at parts houses. Now, if I can only get the head mechanic to turn on an i-pad.... I read some more novels--science fiction romance, contemporary, as well as historical, and regency.

I came back to the farm and other responsibilities relaxed--it took into the end of the second week to feel the last knot unwind. Luckily, I had that third week to make plans for the future. I had renewed the beams of my wagon in life--reading and inquiry. I had found enthusiasm again.

As I write this article, I realize the dissatisfaction I have always felt in being unable to find those exotic places and stay there and read is a silly place in my head because I never achieved this perfect place as my special place.  Flashbacks are sparking in my head of reading in the Rockies by a cold stream, sitting in a dining room next to a window view filled with green and growing trees, reading in a downtown restaurant next to a wall of windows watching it snow all afternoon while a waitress renewed my coffee, reading stretched on a towel on the bank next to the swimming hole, reading while enjoying the sprinkle of rain while looking out at the mountains in Kentucky. I guess I have achieved those perfect reading moments and never realized it. Now that I know, I shall treasure each one, no matter where it is.

As for that perfect place to write. That too has been elusive. However, a large bit of writing work has been done in the front seat of my husband's pickup as I wait for him to examine everything in another farm equipment or heavy machinery lot. Perhaps, I need to stop dreaming of the perfect writing bower and begin to appreciate the ones I do use. They too have their charm.

Update on the cleaning: The house, storage, desk, life and all projects are prospering. As my sister said and it appears to be true--if you do the tiny things that bug you, the rest of everything eventually gets its turn at getting done. The to-do list is much shorter. The projects are getting worked off. (SEE next blog for tips on that.)


Penny Rader said...

Wonderful post, Nina. I'm glad you rediscovered your enthusiasm. Thanks for sharing with us. Your unique perspective always gives me something to think about.

Reese Mobley said...

I vote our next WARA retreat should be at the beach with our toes in the sand, the warm sun on our backs and a good book in our hands.

Reese Mobley said...
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