Yesterday was just a workday, a normal one. I recorded three podcasts, and I wrote 2200 words, and I finished grading the novel class’s work. Those things took most of the day, and at night I was left feeling dry and tired. A bath helped, as did reading The Hazel Wood (I have an ARC, comes out in January), which is amazing. It really is that great. I’m awfully scared it ends on a cliffhanger. But that would be okay; I’m ready to read three books in this world, in this author’s voice. She has a unique, fresh way with language, and there’s such a magical feeling in this book. It’s taking me back to when I was a little girl and found the book I was waiting for. It happened over and over again, but I never knew when that particular lovely lightning would strike.
I read The Little Princess really early, perhaps too early, at maybe four or five? I read it so early that by the time I got the age it would make more sense to read it, eight or nine, I couldn’t remember the title or the author (nothing’s changed, I suppose). And I LONGED for it. I could see the secret room, I could feel her loss and loneliness, and I could feel her joy when the Captain came back, but I couldn’t figure out a way to get back to the world. I remember asking a librarian if she knew what book it was that I’d read. She couldn’t tell me (really, librarian?), and I only stumbled upon The Little Princess again by accident. The joy of that! The greeting that book gave me! Here I am! You didn’t imagine this whole story! (I couldn’t have, though I tried.) You found the treasure, and now you know the name of the book, and the treasure can never be lost.
I hope that when I’m good and old, ninety–five or more, when my mind is slipping, that I drop back into the reader I was as a child. I hope there’s a book or three like The Secret Garden or Anne of Green Gables that I keep in my hands, that I read to myself over and over for comfort. That would be a nice way to ease out of the world, I think.
Why am I thinking of easing out of the world? I have no premonition, but it did occur to me last night while I lay in bed, that IF I suddenly died, my last words on my blog would be something that would probably go viral, even though the post itself wasn’t that great. (They’re Morning Pages, after all. They don’t have to be great.) People would say, “Did you see that author? She wrote ‘Today I have spark. Today I flare.’ Isn’t that SAD? Nah, I don’t know who she was, either.” That’s a pretty terrible way to go viral, so I thought I’d mention to the universe that I’m not really interested in that. No, thanks very much anyway. I’m having too good a time right here, right now.
Again, it strikes me that writing this out loud is tempting fate, too, but that’s okay (I think). I’m not scared of death—not really. I feel like this world is big and scary and awesome enough that there’s something else out there, too. Dark matter and dark energy—that’s quite god-ish, right? I’m curious. I would just like to reject learning about it a while longer.
I think it’s the time in the world that has me thinking like this. Life is precious and fragile, and I take mine into my hands every day I’m alive, every day I dare to put my body inside my car on the freeway, every time I get on BART, every day I go to San Francisco (will there be a terrorist attack? of course there will. But when?), every time I run across the street. I could trip, I could break my neck, I could just flare out so quickly. We all could.
So I’d rather not. That’s all. I’m having such a good time here. I don’t want that to change. (But it will. Eventually. And when it does, I hope my dementia turns me into the kind of person I was at ten, completely unable to keep from reading and rereading my favorite books, the ones I knew I’d never get tired of.)
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