At last I am here, standing in the steam and dim light. The warm water rushes from the faucet, filling the tub with honey scented bubbles. I feel like I have been waiting for this moment all day, waiting for this window of time, to myself. I sink into the hot water, my shoulders slipping beneath the surface. The heat engulfing me, warming my blood, cold from this winter that will not end. I wiggle my toes in the bubbles and exhale. I dry my hands, my fingers find the little slip of paper that marks where I stopped reading the night before. I begin to read, the words painting pictures behind my eyes. I lose myself in the life story of a stranger.
In an effort to achieve more balance I have been stepping away from my laptop lately. Away from the status updates I forget the minute I read them. Away from the obsessive need to ingest all the blogs in my reader. I have tried to limit my time in front of the TV. Instead I’ve been requesting books from my local library, revisiting my love of reading. Relishing in the complete escape I feel as I open the door to a different world.
My heart lifted reading about Stephanie Nielson falling in love with her husband at a young age, and then ached to read of her journey back to herself after a plane crash which burned over 80 percent of her body in her book, Heaven Is Here: An Incredible Story of Hope, Triumph, and Everyday Joy. Laughter bubbled up and then exploded as I read, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. Both of these books I requested after reading Stephanie and Jenny’s blogs. Somewhere online I saw the title for Claire Bidwell Smith’s memoir, The Rules of Inheritance, and it sat on my nightstand for two weeks while I attempted to read a novel. The urge to read about real life kept beckoning.
Tears slip down my cheeks and dry where they fell, leaving a tightness around my eyes and in my throat. The water cools and I add more hot, I am not ready to get out, to stop reading Bidwell Smith’s words. Her loss is staggering and I feel cracked open reading her pain. This book is real, honest, and at some points so raw that I cannot see the words swimming in my tears. I will finish it less than 48 hours after starting it. Beautiful words to describe this book escape me, but I know this book will stay with me for a long time.
Now I find myself following links and spending time in front of my laptop again, no longer skimming my facebook feed, instead I am looking for more memoirs. More real life stories I can dive into.
A different kind of connection.