I was read to as a child, I learned to read early. In an austere time, those books and their illustrations provided a sense of abundance, colour, rich sensuousness and imagery that fed my imagination. They were a wonderful education, escape, treat and friend.
I got glasses for shortsightedness aged 9, but probably much earlier books were always in focus when other things more distant weren’t and I learned to trust them.
Once I was reading for myself I was the classic “under the covers with a torch after lights out” type.
So, for much of my life I dreamed of a library as the true luxury. Walls of books, high as the ceiling, perhaps with a sliding ladder!
I continued to collect them, weeding from time to time to preserve quality and for space.
Twenty months ago we packed up the family home and ditched a lot of stuff, including many books but still boxed up plenty of reading treasures, ones I planned to re-read, picture tomes, those I could lend to others and maybe pass on to my children.
We’re renting a place now with little book space so most of those boxes stayed inland at a cheaper storage spot. Now they’ve moved near to us and we’re dealing with them. Mind you, once you’ve lived without something for so long mostly you don’t need it any more.
But books? I thought they’d always be in my life. I’ve literally had this image of my future library all my reading life.
Since access to most of my books has been restricted, I’ve become more at ease with using my Kindle, first acquired for travel – books really are heavy. I’ve swapped the joy of the tactility, smell and lendability of physical books to the lightness, and ‘let’s buy the next in the series right now at 4am’ – ability of the digital library. And it measures 11 by 17 cm. Not the same, but oh so efficient.
Finally, when I’m close to the position to have my ultimate dream library, I find I don’t need it. I’m shocked. I could take all those lovely friends out of their boxes and I can give most of them away, except for some heirloom leather-bound poems. The rest I can always access.
The ambition I’ve held for decades has melted. Ironic and surprising, the brave new digital world has changed me.
If something so fundamental can transmute gently and completely out of the corner of one’s eye, what else long-held as solid needs a reboot? What could we start rethinking?
Is it your job? Relationships? Your image of yourself? Is it the path you’ve envisaged that no longer takes you where you’re most repleat?
For example, if you don’t yet see yourself as magnificent, come along to my Tea Party Retreat on March 21 to refresh your vision of yourself and what you’re capable of.
And if anyone is interested in some good books, I’ve got a lot available!
- Choose a peaceful place with no interruptions. Turn off your phone and shut your computer.
- Get settled, grounded, and breath deeply for a few breaths.
- Take something you know to be true. It’s immovably the way you’ve thought of it for ages. The way it is, for sure. Set in stone. (Such as my ‘I must have a big library’).
- Now, tease it out a bit. What if that stone-like concept had fuzzy edges. What if it wasn’t a stone at all, but a sponge, a feather, a flowing stream?
- What if it’s changed direction and going off in a completely different dimension?
- Sit with that and let your concepts broaden.
- If you like that, take an action step towards your new idea. (If you don’t, you’ll still see your original concept differently).