05 March 2010


OK.  Sharing the crazy with you today.  And why not?  It's my blog and I'll be crazy if I want to.  Besides, I think I may be on to something.

I've been having trouble reading for several years now.  You see, I've suffered a few major depressions in my life, the most recent being throughout a good part of 2006 and well into 2007.  One of the effects I experience in these depressed times is the inability to read.  It's not that I lose interest but rather I lose the actual skill somehow.   My eyes can't focus on the page for more than a sentence or so.  The letters don't make sense and my mind wanders.
Now I consider my self to be a "reader".  Homer, Tolstoy, Dickens.  Not light stuff, but I've devoured them all.  Modern stuff too.  I adore Margaret Atwood, John Irving, and Timothy Findlay.  I idolize Robertson Davies.  Imagine my dismay when after the fog of the recent depressive episodes lifted, the ability to read easily did not return.  You all know I love poetry and reading it continued to work for me.  The short bytes and the visual imagery contained therein were understandable (as well as comforting) to me, but fictional narratives were still way beyond my comprehension.  It was a little frightening.

Then, about a year ago, I came upon the idea, quite by accident, of reading children's books.  My niece was cleaning out some old things so I took home two of her Charlie Bone books.  They delighted me so much that I borrowed the rest of the series from the neighbourhood library.  I've picked my way through The Daughter's shelf (enjoyed The Lightning Thief very much) and have now moved on to some of the more complex books I enjoyed myself when I was younger.  Currently I'm re-visiting Madeleine L'Engle's wonderful A Wrinkle In Time and its companion pieces.

OK, a woman my age reading kid's books can be considered to be slightly quirky, right?  Here comes the full-on crazy part.  Sometimes, when I'm struggling, I read out loud to myself.  Reading aloud is nothing new to me.  The Daughter and I have spent many, many happy hours reading "Chapter Books" out loud together.  It's something I enjoy and, do well.  And it works.  Somehow, it slows down my eye to brain function enough, that I actually get the story.  My mind doesn't wander as I'm forming the words and listening to them at the same time.  I spent several hours this past weekend sitting in my rocker, reading the adventures of Meg and Charles Wallace out loud to no one but myself.  Well, perhaps the cats enjoyed it?

So.  Not crazy.  Using crazy means to come back from crazy?


not an artist said...

Not crazy, reading children's books has long been one of the ways I relax. I have to think so much for work, sometimes I just can't face another challenging task during my downtime, so I read fun lightweight stuff like Harry Potter, or E Nesbitt or something like that.

Yvette said...

Ooo, Evelyn Nesbitt. Forgot about her.

Sherrill said...

I love Young Adult books, so you can read anything you want to, I'm right there with you!

Marin (AntiM) said...

Not at all crazy, says the black kettle.

I think one of the joys of buying books for kids is reading them through first under the pretext of screening them for naughty or disturbing bits.