I have been so enriched by the books I've read. There is almost no book that I've read where I've felt it was a waste of time. I almost always find something, no matter how insignificant or incidental, that causes me to think a little more, a little farther, a little deeper, a little wider.
Right now, as I'm writing this, my head's brimming with thoughts about my relationship with books and I'm finding it a little daunting just trying to keep track of them and share them in some coherent, easy-to-read way. Perhaps it's best if I just write them as they stream through....
When I was a kid, my family was too poor to afford books for me and my siblings. It was a challenge enough just getting us our school books. So I found myself reading over and over again, this one torn and tattered, hand-me-down book about families and children which had a few black and white photographs in it. How I cherished that book!
There was one picture that I can still see so vividly in my mind. It was a picture of a boy and his little sister holding hands in this wonderful, blurred field. The boy had his face lifted and the girl had light through her hair. They looked so happy. I must've spent hours looking at that picture, often wistfully. Yes, a child of three or four can be wistful especially if it's made to grow up in a domestic world of violence and rejection.
I remember pointing to that picture and imploring my brother, 4 years older than me, 'Why can't we be like that?'. What I meant was, why couldn't he be loving toward me so that we could be happy just like those kids.
You see, my brother was very mean to me and remained mean to me for the best part of twenty-odd years. My offense? Being born, I suppose, and usurping his position within the family.
In truth, his position was never threatened as he continued to remain the 'pet' son and child long, long into his adulthood. But I can appreciate how he could have felt threatened.
For my part, I was deeply hurt that I could be so loathed and by implication, so loathsome! I believe it was something that I carried well into my adulthood as well. Sheesh!
These days, with life experiences that have both tortured and healed us, we have discovered the deep love that was always there between us. It is a love that is expressed in gentle ways, like keeping in touch, listening to each others woes, not often but when it happens, it takes the form of true, deep listening where we just want to be present to each other and where we instinctively feel that we are there for each other.
That's precious. And, if you haven't already wondered or noticed, not got a quiver of a thing to do with books and my relationship with them which is where I started this post. At least, not in any obvious way. Ah, but that's a typical TB post now, isn't it ??? :)
Books on my coffee table