Saturday, February 13, 2010

food for the mind

I feel compelled to read everyday as a way to nourish my mind. The power of imagination can be monumental. It reminds me of time travel, a journey to some where else based on the author's telling of his or her story. I sometimes covet those who have the talent of the written word and can construct a different reality where there was none before. The essence of creativity.

I feel like I have been to many places in the world, and yes sometimes other worlds too. The descriptions of people, places and situations can feel uncannily real. Whether it is just to escape for a few moments in time or perhaps a bit of distraction, it doesn't really matter.

I do not recall exactly when my appetite for books began to grow however I do recall joining a summer reading program at the town library that whetted my appetite when I was probably around age nine. We won little stickers every time we finished a book. During warm summer days when the tide was out at the beach I would find a shady tree and read my books and time would seem to melt into oblivion.... I think I went through quite a few books that summer and the librarian seemed incredulous about the level I was reading on.

I have read my way through varied gendres yet still to this day I still enjoy science fiction and the early writings of Poe, Burroughs, and Lovecraft. I believe the imagination and creativity it takes to create these types of stories is amazing. Of course I cannot take the time here to list all my favorite authors and books because it is quite an eclectic collection which I continue to add to.

I remember my mother once telling me "you will always have a friend by reading books". I think she may have been trying to tell me I would never be bored or lonely if I allowed my love of reading to sustain me. There have been times in my life when that fact was probably true. I've often joked with family and friends, you could drop me off on a deserted island with a box of books and it would take me awhile before I would begin to miss anyone.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I believe our minds can sometimes play a cruel trick on some of us. Memories can represent a slippery slope of inaccuracy. There are many fond memories I have of my years past but sometimes I wonder if over time they have morphed into my own version of reality rather than what really took place.

Face Book has been an opportunity to re-connect with old friends and share memories of the good times growing up and commonality of experiences. But was it or is it really the good ol' days or just what my mind permits me to remember? Granted, I do have some painful memories of an awkward childhood, most of us do to some degree, I guess. But remembering the fun times is definitely where I'd rather be.

We lose touch with our pals from a long time ago and there are often muddled reasons why, but people do drift at certain stages of their lives mostly because of different pursuits and life choices. We are not the same people we once were. (Thank goodness for that, REALLY!)

So what was I like as a child? Definitely not a younger version of who I am now as an adult. I enjoyed a very active imagination which most likely involved a certain degree of escapism from family dysfunction. That is sometimes a painful subject but what I know is that over coming adversity can often become triumph. I do not think many of us had a perfect family life growing up and those who had something near that did not necessarily become a predictor of stability or achievement either.

I was fortunate to grow up in a safe neighborhood where every one watched out for one another and children could play freely without worry. If we got hurt it was usually because we did something crazy or stupid. I remember spending alot of time playing outside with the other children and it involved alot of physical activity that constitutes "play". Do kids even know these days what play really is?

Emotions play a major role in what we choose to remember. Unresolved issues, sometimes referred to as baggage can weigh us down but awareness of what we each struggle with and our tendencies can be a useful tool towards self understanding and self acceptance.

I've read this over now and it sounds like a term paper for some Psych 101 course on Personality and Development. That was not my intent. I've just been thinking alot lately about past memories and sometimes find myself drifting into troubled waters. Could it just be my own existential journey of defining who I am or what I have turned out to be? For now though, I think I'll just enjoy reuniting with some old friends on FB and regale each other with funny things we did and trouble we got into, and maybe just leave it at that for now if at all humanly possible.