“I forgot how much I love this world man. I feel like I didn’t appreciate this book well enough the first time and now it’s just crushing my heart with hope and joy”
“Isn’t that the beauty of books though? Just rams your soul with hope and emotions that you (I) usually run from”
That’s a conversation that is fairly normal among me and my reader friends. We live in a whirlpool of books, throwing our favorites at each other to eventually create a petri dish of the same universes, characters, relationships, and words. We crave a new world, new pain, new hope, new love. Hunger for masterfully woven words fills our bones. It’s an unquenchable thirst that will occasionally feel satisfied. A best friend will throw me a story that ripped them apart and I’ll devour it until I’m stuffed and hungover from the intoxicating tale.
Maybe you have NO idea what I’m saying. Maybe you agree to a degree. Maybe you think I’m just dramatic and reading just can’t be that good.
So, why do I feel the need to create an entire blog post dedicated to this? Because reading is one of the few things that has been with me from the beginning. Not a lot is promised in this world. And in a moment’s notice, everything could be ripped out from under you.
There are a handful of things that have been constant in my life – my God, my voice, and my books.
Scripture changes lives and worship caresses the soul. But sometimes it’s more difficult to open the Bible than a book. Sometimes you go through the motions and feel nothing. It’s human nature to go through dry spells. And a lot of people don’t even have religion, faith, or God to fall back on.
But we all need something to believe in. Something to keep us afloat. I would argue that the only forever constant, unchanging, true, and pure thing that can do this is the Lord, but that’s not the point of this blog.
I think I’ve discovered that reading, along with music, is a universal float, a universal art for people to believe in, no matter their actual beliefs or backgrounds.
As a child (and let’s be honest, currently), emotions scared the hell out of me and I shut them off. I completely ignored them and locked them in a box, thinking that if I let them out, they would hurt me. They would overwhelm me and take over my life.
So, the result was that at a certain point, I couldn’t feel them anymore. I legitimately didn’t know the normal way to feel emotions. I became constipated with them. And I needed something to help. (A forever solution would be the Lord and therapy, but I was a child, okay?)
Books were my medicine.
It’s like all the emotions are grey, with no color, and books are the dye that gives them vibrancy. A drop of stories and I’m filled with color again.
For some people, books are an escape. They are a tool for friendship when communicating isn’t easy. They are a release, a break, a breath.
Literature is so important. Maybe not for everyone, but for a lot of people, stories carry them. Books and music hold them above water and take them away from the trauma of this world.
Literature and music are there for people who don’t know how to ask for help. They are there for people who don’t know they need help. They are a world of hope that understands us, hears us, sees us, accepts us, and keeps us safe.