I didn’t read any novels last year; down from one in 2016, 13 in 2015, 11 in 2012, five in 2013, and 21 in 2012. I tend to read fun stuff more when I travel to fill in empty time and I tend to study for classes when I’m home to build my career up. Up to what? I don’t know. I have no calling, no drive to service. I seek uninterrupted free time. I am my most happy and content self when time and money are abundant, even if only in bursts. It feels like childhood again. All my needs met while I lazily watch I Love Lucy and laugh. Not a care in the world.
Books are too dramatic when I’m home in my career state. I’m disillusioned by how the author just throws obstacles at their protagonists. I have enough problems to solve in my real life, I can’t handle being kept even more in suspense while some fictional character solves problems that wouldn’t have existed if their author hadn’t bothered to write them down. I need practical reality in my career state. I’m focused on my optimal level of success, not hanging out in la la land while my student loan perpetually charges me more money on funds I spent 8 years ago.
Financial mountain climbing. Of course I take breaks, but they’ve not been so satisfying for the past 6 years since student loan reality set in. They’ve been necessary to pace myself, but they’ve prolonged this torment due to the Sisyphus effect they have on my mountain climbing. Three steps forward, two steps back. Not quite like Sisyphus, thank fully because I haven’t had to start all over each time.
I did buy a book the other day… and I am half way through it. I can feel my other self waking up a bit. I’ve only got three point five weeks to freedom, so maybe it is about time I start to color my world a bit more.
This world is highly evolved, I’m still amazed by the existence of the clock. I think it is funny that one day someone looked up and realized that time exists and we can track it. I think it is even more funny that people write about different worlds because seriously this place exists and has a history (proof of which is given in the existence of a clock) so other places must exist too, right? What I don’t understand is why this idea of other worlds became embedded into everyday life; here is my guess for how it got started:
I think that once everyone realized the odd existence of this world and postulated other worlds, the idea sparked the dawn of a new industry. Everywhere people started preaching of what they thought other worlds would look like. Since technology didn’t exist back then, there was no way to answer the question of “But how do we get to these other worlds?” So the smartest preachers said “You get to them when you die!” “When we die?” shrieked everyone in the crowds.
The farmer preacher said “yes! but only if you plough my field really well for your whole life, will you be able to get there.”
And the Doctor preacher said, “Only if you maintain your health and the health of your family will you get to see the best of the other worlds.”
And the evil preacher said, “only if you give into temptation, will I let you have power in the other worlds.”
And the scientist preacher said, “If we can build a space ship together, we can fly past the stars and take a super nova wormhole to travel to other worlds.”
By this point the idea of other worlds had become so prevalent in the society of humans on earth that no one dared question it. Over time certain preachers gained larger followings than others and we able to wield power over larger and larger groups of people.
It just makes sense to me to stay living for the real world… the one we know exists, then figure out the other worlds when we get there. But maybe that’s just how I travel.
When I was a kid I would plow through fantasy books. The nice thing about many books of that genre is that they come in whole sets. After reading one book one day I could read another book in the series the next day. When forced out of my book world to eat dinner, socialize, or go to school, I would wiggle in my seat in anticipation of what was about to happen next in the story. Instantly, once released from my waking life necessities, I would grab the book (which usually wasn’t far from grasp) and nestle into my pillows once again back in fantasyland.
Unfortunately, I eventually grew out of this genre. Suddenly it didn’t take me away anymore. All the far off lands sounded familiar. The main character of one series strikingly resembled the chosen one from another. Still I kept trying and kept reading to get my self back into that wonderful wash of fantasyland emotions. In revisiting books of by gone days I could feel moments of the saturation, but sadly they were just moments.
In my searching moved around to other parts of the books store I found the fiction section and thought, “Finally! With all these to choose from I should be quite happy to devour the contents of these shelves.” But no, they didn’t stick. The stories had characteristics of fantasy in that they weren’t real, but they were fantasy based on this concert jungle I already walked around in. I may as well have been watching soap operas or cheesy chick flicks. In my withdrawal state of despair I thought, “what else is left? Reality is so boring, I don’t want to read about reality… or do I ”
It was then that I wandered into the Philosophy aisle. Philosophy, the mother of all sciences, the root of ponderance, and driving force of figuring out what the heck is going in this life. Suddenly reality wasn’t so boring. I pondered existence, behavior, the simple things, culture, and habit. I noticed references to it everywhere in history, advertising, phrases….it was everywhere. The world finally had some color again.
By then I wasn’t a kid anymore. I could not just pull out a book and read through calculus or finance classes. I had to pay attention to the practicality of the world. Groom myself for employment opportunities and speak in simple terms to avoid being misunderstood. After all of that, the Philosophy topics I had to leave behind were no longer interesting. Once again, I found myself needing something to look forward to, some happy excitement to break me out of my Eeyore resting phase. So I decided not to find it in just books… but to actually live it instead.
In fifth grade we would play a game called “popcorn” where the students would take turns reading out loud and when that student had read enough they would yell out “Popcorn!” and the name of another student, who would start reading where the previous student left off. The process would repeat until the entire section was complete or the teacher got tired of hearing the word “Popcorn!” yelled in as many different ways as the class could come up with.
Once the “cool” kids (who were really just bullies) got a hold of the popcorn torch, I pretty much lost all chance of getting to read out loud. One day my eagerness to read out loud caught up with me. I couldn’t contain my excitement for the story and was reading silently along, eager to see how the story would unfold, when I started whispering the words only loud enough for me to hear. Unfortunately I was so lost in reading that I started reading out loud along with the “cool kid”. The girl looked up at me, confused. She and I made eye contact; I shrugged my shoulders as if to say “opps” and blushed as she continued to read. Luckily, no one else seemed to notice. The awkwardness only lasted a second because I once again found myself engulfed in the story.
This is long over due, to the point where this should have been my first note. But I had the urge to pull Proust from my book shelf and read his opening paragragh/sentence to “Days of Reading” and I still so full heartily agree. I cannot say it better. There is just some nostalgic essence in remembering the many books I kept my nose in. I understand why they want children to read, more so than ever, because I can draw on experiences that I never actually experienced to aid my waking life.
I feel a sadness for it actually. I cannot get back to that place in my mind, I cannot revisit those stories as I first experienced them because I am no longer at that stage. I no longer escape life into fantasy because I’ve managed to merge my fantasy with real life and I am content. Therefore I seek no solace, no need to reach into another world of make-believe. Now I am merely interested in cool concepts and stories that guide me into deeper understanding and meaning into my actual daily existence. I am at one side excited about all I learn about in the real world beyond my home town, but at the same time depressed over my inability to connect with characters and events of stories long past. An entire world of existance taken away from me by time and experience. I’m forced to grasp to what I can, desperately for some peace of mind to avoid becoming like those jaded folks who tell me that fantasy world never existed in the first place. Oh believe me, it is real, I have my personality to prove it.