I have been quiet these last few days. Not entirely absent, but definitely lying low. I’ve needed to claim a little cleansing time, hold social media at arms length for a while and, you know what? It feels really good. My life has taken on a fine shade of hell lately–at the least serious end a recalcitrant major household appliance, and at the most serious, an alcoholic adult child who confessed to making active suicidal plans. And since this is real life, there have been a few more critical pressure points in between, familial and financial.
With the worst of the most critical crises calmed, but of course not “over,” I thought I would emerge a little and take a deep breath.
Today I submitted my latest outside review and I am looking forward to spending a little time reading simply for the sake of reading. I may write about what I read, I may even write reviews, but I am keen to lose myself in words and ideas for a while without the pressure of dragging a notebook along. Fortunately I have no reservations against marginalia, love a book with a few blank pages at the end for notes, and never read without a pencil handy.
I have recently acquired a number of collections of short stories and essays that I am anxious to explore, I realize that I am almost a year from my trip to South Africa and I have barely touched the stacks of books I dragged home, and I am presently making my way through some works that I hope will contribute to my own writing. So I will not be at a loss for reading material, which is a good thing because my book budget has just been ruthlessly slashed by unexpected expenses.
But first and foremost I am caught in the absolute brilliance that is John Keene’s Counternarratives. This collection of short stories and novellas has me captivated. After noting it in my peripheral vision for months I finally bought a hardcover copy just before the paperback was released. Now that I am into it, I take it everywhere on the chance that I might have even a few minutes to slip back into it. I can’t remember the last time a book had me in it’s thrall like this one.
And when I am finished I might even write about it. But for now I just want to read.
PS. Warm thanks to DC, MM and JT for supportive words over the past few days. Who says you can’t meet some fine folks on Twitter?