Lovely Day on a Date With Myself

Captain’s Log   5,789

What a lovely day it was yesterday.  I got to putter around and be alone with my own thoughts for most of the day.  The book club in the morning didn’t really count because it was stimulating conversation with no expectations.  I love that about this group of wonderful ladies.  We eat, we laugh, we have fun, and we listen intently to what everyone has to say.  It is the most respectful group I have ever known.  They do not wait to talk, they listen.  Lovely stuff.

I started an incredible book some time ago and laid it aside when the world became too crazy and involved.  I picked it up again yesterday and spent most of the day swimming in the wonders of this amazing story that is beautifully written.

TheTortillaCurtain

A story that blends the “American Dream” of upscale Los Angeles with the reality of homeless camps in the canyons below those magnificent houses and rich lives.  Stunning book.

Big Sister Mia and I went to see August: Osage County on Saturday.  Remarkable piece of art.  The story is truly incredible.  Yes, there are detractors who say the portrayal of the matriarch is too stereotypical.  I disagree.  Most matriarchs are not chain-smoking drug addicts battling cancer.   Meryl Streep was truly amazing as Violet Weston.  That’s all I can say.  She allowed herself to appear ugly and mean-spirited.  She also allowed herself to appear lost and frightened.  

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Meryl, I hope you win the Oscar!

I was also surprised to learn that the playwright (who also wrote the screenplay) is a man.  He writes “woman’s stuff” as brilliantly as Wally Lamb.   You don’t know Wally Lamb?  Get to reading!  I cannot save you.  You must do the work yourself.

Speaking of reading and the salvation of imagination…….  I used to travel back in my musician days with a lovely woman friend who was sweet as a daisy but she didn’t read.  Ever.  Anything.  We would be out on the road for weeks and she never brought along any reading material.  Ever.  I would be curled up in our motel room after a long day of driving and/or performing, completely lost in a book, and she would watch TV.  Constantly.  TV TV TV TV.

One night, she turned to me and said, “What do I have to do to be well-read?”  I was smacked by that question.  The only way to become well-read is to read.  And I told her that.  “You mean all those books?”  Yes, all those books.  “How long would that take me?”  I had no idea, but since she never picked up a book, I had no idea how she would tackle this.  I made a stab and suggested something like…..5-6 years.  That would be plowing through classics as well as all the stuff we read as kids.  She had NOT read any Nancy Drew!  That alone would take her a very long time.

She asked me if she would be smart if she read all those books.  I told her that books don’t make you smart.  Books unlock your innate intelligence.  Books free your mind to think beyond your world.  Becoming well-read doesn’t mean you remember every detail of everything you read, it means you can make sense and apply what the written word has given you.  You understand the Civil War better by reading Gone With the Wind.   I knew she wasn’t tracking me.

“How do I learn stuff?” she asked.  “I really want to learn stuff.”

How on earth could I explain that process?  I don’t know how people learn.  They just do.  I told her that people who love to read allow the experience to transform their experiences.  Reading takes you places beyond your own imagination.  It broadens everything.

She still didn’t get it.  And I never understood her.

I am completely amazed when I see people sitting on airplanes doing absolutely nothing.  They don’t even read the in-flight magazines or Sky Mall.  I cannot believe all of those people are lost in deep and complex thoughts.  They just don’t read.  I don’t get it.

My mother was a huge reader.  My father was a busy guy who preferred to spend his time doing things.  I got a combo pack of genes from both of them.  I love to read and I love to be involved with projects.   I can be solitary or I can be social.  Sometimes, too much “social” gets in the way of my need for solitude.  A quiet day every now and then recharges me and keeps me on track.  Like yesterday.

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24 Comments

Filed under Captain Poolie's observations

24 responses to “Lovely Day on a Date With Myself

  1. Dear G used to read constantly. I asked him this morning why he didn’t read, and he replied that he got out of the habit of reading. With him, that seems to be a truism about many things.

  2. Edie

    Because I love to read I am never bored…

  3. Your traveling companion had no frame of reference. Maybe for her it would’ve gotten through to say she could watch in words the best stories, better than most on television. Then again, maybe she was simply incapable of that leap of reasoning.

  4. goatbarnwitch

    Reading is the flame that makes imagination burn bright. I love a book that is so good that I can dream about the story it sinks so deeply into my psyche. I feel sad sometimes for people who don’t allow themselves to get it or have had bad teachers who put them off reading

  5. Ooh, just imagine still having Wally Lamb to discover? I re-read all his novels last year and imagine I’ll do so again every few years. Amy Bloom is my latest mad crush. I think the trick with non-readers is getting them started on the right book – I mean, even book-worms like us don’t like everything. In my drug-crazed youth I hooked in a lot of people with ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ and as a teacher in a rough school I found ‘The Burglar Diaries’ by Danny King was often the starting point that led on to wider choice (It’s a fantastically funny 1st person novel told by a lad who doesn’t go in for much in the way of thinking). Glad you had a good date xxx

  6. susanna

    Your explanation to your singing partner was interesting to read. So true.
    I love reading. To spend time with authors that have such great minds, great hearts; that are so creative, imaginative and amazing. What a way to spend an evening!
    I love what you said about your book club folks listening, not waiting to talk. I facilitate two book clubs and in one of them I have not gotten through an evening without saying, No cross-talk!

  7. Valerie

    I used to be such a reader but sadly, I’ve gotten out of the habit. I park myself in front of the computer or the TV and the next thing I know, It’s after 11pm. I think that I’ll try to institute some “electronic free” nights each week in our house and see if that helps!

  8. farmgirl

    Thank you oh kindred spirit!!

  9. Patty O'

    I cannot imagine not being surrounded with books. It’s finding the TIME…and the eyesight! Shakespeare, sappy romance, history, science fiction, quantum physics…BRING IT ON!

  10. I have other interests…but reading comes first. I can’t remember when I couldn’t read. There’s a limit to what you can teach if there’s no curiosity, and I don’t see much curiosity these days beyond the prurient.

    I brought up three readers, but I never could get my husband interested.

  11. If I couldn’t read, I couldn’t breathe or want to. I drag home bags of library books and sometimes I don’t like all of them or I have to renew them or I just don’t get around to reading them but I can’t go to a library without bringing home books. Today I returned 3 books and 2 magazines and brought home 5 books and 5 magazines…That’s my mantra! So many books, not enough time.

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