Sometime early last fall I began a news-fast. A sabbatical, if you will, from news in general. I wasn't completely in the dark, what with an historic election taking place. I watched the debates, formed my opinion, but let the talking heads just talk to themselves. On election night I watched our new President make his acceptance speech, and then I tuned out. I figured it was high time we all just let the man we put our trust in do his job, and I'd do mine.
During my early morning ritual of making lunches, pouring coffee, and toasting bread, the television in my kitchen remained silent. Instead of listening to the morning news of war, politics and issues over which I had no control, I fell in love with audio books. Charlotte Bronte's Villette, The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James...what a way to begin the day. I found myself dawdling over the preparation of my lunchtime salad greens, taking a little more time to concoct a turkey sandwich. The quote by Emily Dickinson,"There is no frigate like a book to take us lands away" best described my new found bliss. Away I went, where ever it was that my book took me.
I'm currently listening to bestselling author Julia Glass' new book I See You Everywhere. This wonderful tale of two sisters is told in the alternating voices of the author and actress Mary Stewart Masterson. Simply said, I love it - in all of it's unabridged, 12-disc-long glory. And it takes me away. Away from the depressing news on the television, away from the reality that all I'm really doing is packing a lunch bag, loading the dishwasher or sorting out the day's dose of assorted vitamins.
In light of the grim economic situation of our country, where it seems everyone is tightening their belts and making due with a little less, what better time to escape, find some peace, by immersing yourself into a good story. The early writer and feminist Lady Mary Wortley Montague said it best. "No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting." And might I add listening, too?
"She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain."
Louisa May Alcott