I’ve had thousands of best friends and hundreds of mortal enemies.
I’ve been married a hundred times and divorced a hundred times more than that, probably. I’ve had lovers aplenty, built homes, mucked stables…and all this time, I’ve insisted I am an alone person. Oh no. I have never been alone, not for a day of my whole life long.
Books are sneaky like that, aren’t they? They introduce us to friends as real as the ones that stand before us, and they break our hearts just as deeply as a lost real-life love might. Books are a powerful force, and they are as real as reality itself: because, actually, what is reality? Our mind’s perception of a scene laid out before us.
That description of reality sounds an awful lot like our experience of a book, don’t you think? The difference being: a book gives us longer to sit within the scene and hold it up against our real life for review. True reality, in contrast, usually comes and goes in a flash.
I invite you to open your mind and your heart to the idea of a book and its characters being as real as any other aspect of reality. Think of how beautifully full life would be if we all embraced that idea. No one would ever be lonely— our books would see to it that we’d have a friend for every day of the week, or at least for whenever we really wanted one.
Think of a book as another room in your house, a room filled with the most beautiful, quirky, joyful friends you could ever wish to find. That’s what I’m going to be doing from now on. And that’s how I know that I’ll never truly be the alone person I always thought that I was.
I’ve been thinking on a more practical level (which, let me tell you, is highly unusual in the world of this cloud bouncing dreamer) and my thoughts have led me to a little bloggy holiday.
I’m questioning the sanity of this decision, given the lovely distraction this place gives me from all the yucky things of life, but I do think that even just a few days away might be nice. I’ve been blogging almost every day, for quite some time now. A little bloggy holiday might be quite a lovely thing, now that I really think about it.
Obviously, a lot of emotional processing is happening for me at the moment and, although I don’t necessarily feel I need to take a break from blogging…I figured it certainly wouldn’t hurt to take some days off from this little bloggy land of mine.
Things need to move in my world, and over the next few months, I’ll be slowly making some decisions in order to move them. The practical reality of a newly separated Mum of two little muffins hangs over me like a giant hand reaching from the sky, ready to squash me flat. In other words: I need to earn some money soon, or things are going to go from bad, to worse, to really terribly horrible. I’d like to avoid any sort of bug-on-windscreen action, If I can get away with it.
As much as I adore this beautiful bloggy land (and certainly don’t plan on saying goodbye to it anytime soon) my focus needs to shift to more practical matters, and the first of those is…how to turn the skills I have into the job of my dreams. I’m a writer. Right? I could write. But then what will I write about, and who will pay me for what I write, especially if I’ve given no thought to the words I have to share. There are many avenues I could begin to peer down, career-wise, and after I’ve wrapped my head around the emotional upheaval my beautiful little family is facing at this time— it’ll be time for this love-hearty dreamer to get busy.
A bit of time away from here won’t get me a job, or an instantly love-hearty life, but it will free up a little bit of energetic space, which I can then use to get a bit clearer on things. I’m so excited about the possibilities!
So! I’ll see you guys in…I’m not really sure how long actually, guys! It could be a few days, it could be a week that turns into two, I’m just not sure. But what I do know is that the time away will not be wasted. Life is too precious to be wasted on less than wonderful.
It’s time, now, for me to get clear on exactly what my kind of wonderful looks like.
‘Hello, Moon,’ said Sun, as he watched her rise above the sea to meet him in the orange sky.
‘Hello, dear Sun. Must we always meet like this? I’d rather hoped we might run, today.’
Sun looked at Moon and smiled.
‘Running is a human thing,’ said Sun, laughing at his fanciful friend. ‘If we were to run like the busy humans do…how would we shine as beautifully as we do?’
Moon thought of this and nodded. ‘Shining is quite lovely, isn’t it. Do humans shine like us, do you think?’
‘Some do. When they stop running,’ Sun replied. ‘And when one shines, usually the one beside them shines, too. So does the next, and the next, and the next until they’ve made a whole chain of humans as bright and shining as we are, sweet Moon.’
‘Oh, how lovely!’ said Moon, as she shone silver over the sea, wondering what a chain of bright, shining humans might look like.
I’m reading again. I’m reading a lot, actually. My goodness, it’s all the lovely things.
It wasn’t that I didn’t want to read for all the years books went missing from my life. I blamed it on the quick and easy of social media. How convenient it was to click onto an article offered by Facebook, or Twitter, or whatever platform I was virtually chillin’ my life away on.
I first discovered Facebook in my early twenties, and WHAT wonder IS this! My goodness. The possibilities of that place seemed endless. In fact, were it not for Facebook…I’d not have re-met the man who eventually became my husband (and super fun guy Dad to my two beautiful kiddlywinks.)
I became so ‘into’ Facebook at one point, I considered it a problem. I was desperate to get rid of it because it seemed to be sucking so much life out of me, but how to take the giant leap away? It just would not let me go. It was my curiosity for what was going on in the comment section that found me in the deepest water. I was becoming deeply affected by ALL the opinions, and consequently, I was very slowly disappearing beneath them.
Looking back, I see what the problem likely was. All thatsocial media drama must have been doing quite the number on my brain. No wonder the calm and quiet energy of reading seemed to have fallen by the wayside. My brain was addicted to noise. Not only was it addicted to the action…it was also addicted to being seen, to being heard, to being loved.
I don’t know when all that changed, but I know it was by happy accident. I think it was after the birth of my second child, maybe, when I was just too busy to even think about the delightful terrors gifted to me by the comment section. I was also in the thick of things with my Masters at the time—completely immersed in my little collection of short stories. It was such a swift and sneaky cut off, I don’t even recall the day I stopped and said, Facebook what, now?
And so, just like that, the addiction was gone. I will admit that I have really come to enjoy Instagram for the creative platform it provides (and the odd chance to share some of my bright and shiny pom poms with the world.) But I don’t see myself returning to that addictive social media space anytime soon. I lost far too much of myself there once upon a time—too many hours, too much of my calm and happy—to risk going back.
Not to mention my precious books. Sigh. Thank goodness I have them back again.
If you’re a reader, you are about to read a blog post which will echo through the pits of your soul. It’s not a problem, we all know this. But whenever us readers are faced with this sort of conundrum, there is definite…friction would be the best way to put it, in my mind.
Those of you who’ve been reading my blog for a while will already know that I am blowing this issue (the one I’m about to tell you about) up to be something it absolutely is not, creating drama where none is needed, creating blockage when there probably is a clear path that I just can’t see yet.
But the thing is: this feels big. Like a pickle. And when something feels like a pickle to me, I will set my brain to work until it has come up with a logical solution that will bring me peace and clarity and a bin (you know, a bin to throw the pickle into.)
What is the pickle, you ask? Books, that’s what. I’ve started reading three books that are wonderful…and I’ve started them all at the same time. The pickle is this, and the pickle is also the fact that I’ll not finish any of them at this rate.
I won’t go into the details about each book but I will say that each is illuminating, genuine, inspiring, and each has a very clear reason to be read by a bookish dreamer named Brooke at this point in her life.
How do I choose which one to plow on with? Surely it’s an essential question, like asking myself: should I brush my teeth, have a shower, sleep, eat? You’re laughing aren’t you. You’re laughing because you’ve been here before, but currently you’re not so it’s kind of like you’re looking back upon a distant nightmare set in a far-off land.
But for me, it’s here. It’s now. And I’ve got to DO something, I’ve got to get TOUGH.
I’ve got to put two of the books away. When it comes down to it, that’s just what I’ve got to do, isn’t it? One at a time. I will not find un-friction until I make a choice, and the time has come for me to make it—to choose the apple, the orange or the pear.
What a bookishly frantic conundrum. What a pickle of the totally me kind.
A face in the mirror; a gentle head tilt; a naked, swan neck.
Her fingers find the soft of her collar bone and drift upward: chin, cheek, forehead— every part of her, delicate. Like a bird, she thinks. The mirror shows her nothing new, and yet everything has changed.
Because for the first time in her life, her beauty becomes her. This time, it hasn’t found her through the hungry eyes of a man, or through the careless words of a well-meaning shop assistant.
It’s found her from the softness of all that she is.