I’ve not been feeling very creative lately hence I’ve not attempted any word of the day or short story writing exercises. Just some general journals, so that I am still meeting my commitment to daily writing. It gets overwhelming when I am in school. The idea of doing anything creative is exhausting. So let’s just hash out some of the things I’ve been thinking about. This of course is a lot since I tend to think and overthink quite a bit.
I think quite a bit about reading. What I am reading, what I am going to be reading, and what I want to read next. I’ve been thinking a lot about the benefits of reading. I have several books that are really hard to read. There is a certain time period in American literature where people spoke differently it seems. They used bigger words. For example, if you read Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thoreau, or William James. The time period of their writing was between 1820 – the early 1900s. Some people like to climb mountains, hike hard trails, and run a marathon. I want to read all of Thoreau’s essays and William James’s book on Pragmatism. That shit is hard. I have to typically look up a word in every other sentence. It takes me sometimes 30 min to get through one page. Half the words I look up I am certain I won’t remember but there are times I can honestly feel my brain stretching. There are also hidden diamonds amongst these sentences that are waiting to be revealed. I feel like a treasure hunter when I am reading these books. There is a scene in the movie “The Christmas Story” where Ralphie got his decoder pen and is in the bathroom excitedly decoding the secret message from Little Orphan Annie. This is how I feel when I sit down to tackle one of these books or essays. There are sentences in The Varieties of Religious Experiences by William James that will both take your breath away and make you stare at the wall for a few minutes.
Not everything I read is hard though. That would certainly be too much. I also enjoy reading modern books, usually self-help-type books. Things on habits, spirituality, emotions, psychology, addiction…etc. The hard books I usually save to tackle chunks when I am on break from school, as the reading I have to do for my Ph.D. is typically challenging enough. The mid-range self-help type books I just described, I keep in my car and that is mostly when I get a chance to read those. I like to leave 30 to 60 min early for appointments and commitments I have to read before them.
You might be asking, don’t you read anything fun? And the answer is yes/no. I don’t “read” for fun, I enjoy listening to audiobooks for my fun stuff. I am fortunate to have a job where there are usually a couple hours each day that I can listen to in the background while working on something that doesn’t require 100% of my brain capacity. Last year I went on a Stephen King binge and listened to a good majority of his books and I listened to Dune which was good. This year has been a bit of a mishmash of stuff. I’ve decided to give some autobiographies a try. I’ve never been interested in them much but I’ve been a fan of Will Smith most of my life so I decided to give him a try. My very first cd ever in the 90s was DJ Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince. I grew up on his music and the Fresh Prince of Bell Air episodes on television. His book so far has been really entertaining. After that, I’ve already picked what I’ll be listening to for the rest of the year. Next will be Michelle Obama’s book becoming. Then I want to listen to The Lord of the Rings. I’ve read the hobbit books before and hated them but I love the movies so much, that I thought I would give The Lord of the Rings a try.
Anyway, I’ve rambled enough about reading this morning. Wishing you all peace in present moments!