Friday, July 31, 2009

Pausing While Reading

cover of book, eavesdropping It's not often I have to stop reading, close my eyes and just absorb what I just read. I'm the kind of reader that plows through a book at dizzying light-speed and spends the next month digesting it as a whole. While I am reading fifteen other books.

This one made me pause. Like I said, that is rare. I feel like I discovered a fine wine and I suddenly have to stop and savor it.

It's a book of tone poems, as the author describes his essays on what it's like to be blind and to explore the world of soundscapes as if he is sightseeing. Something in what he writes resonates deeply within me. Perhaps it's the fact that he was a lonely child without the company of other children and he would stand still in the middle of the suburban street and simply listen to the sounds around him. I remember doing the same thing. Perhaps it's the shame he felt of himself. The same shame I felt and still feel when the thoughts I think are deeper and stranger than the thoughts everyone around me seems to think.

All I know as I read on and on into the labyrinth of his book is that it awakens in me a longing to bare my soul to the world as he has bared his. To craft for the world a delicate beauty of words that resonate like crystal and fire and haunt me long after I read them. To go beyond the reporting of mundane childish activities and write something from deep within my soul.

Sometimes I question whether mundanity is acceptable. Where do words cross the line into meaning from meaninglessness? Somehow, when done correctly, even the mundane or the ugly can take on the persona of meaningful art but it takes care and thought and a lot of work. Most days I am just too tired.

But reading such a book is a feast for the part of me that longs for just such thoughts. Someday my own thoughts may squeeze themselves through the mundane. Or they may stay hidden.

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