It's nice to be back, even on a Monday. I can't say that I really "enjoyed" my staycation, but I will say this: I learned a few things. Mostly things I could have done without learning, but there you have it. Perhaps the most valuable lesson I picked up, once again, is that things could always be worse, and I should be thankful and grateful and all sorts of -fuls for what I've got. And I am.
Here's another, slightly more-pertinent-to-the-point-of-this-blog thing that I learned: anyone who thinks reading is not really a physical activity should think again. A couple of weeks ago I had surgery, and it kicked my ass. (No worries--I'm on the road to recovery.) I had laid in a pile of novels and DVDs, thinking post-surgery would be a fantastic time to read. I couldn't have been more wrong about that. I watched the DVDs, and must admit that I have warm feelings for the idiot box this week, as it's been a lovely mindless diversion. I've watched a lot more TV this week than I've read, I'm ashamed to admit.
For one thing, I never realized how much I set my books on my tummy while I read. With incisions where I normally rest book spines, I've certainly been thrown out of my physical reading routine. Also: the physical restlessness and antsiness of bodily recovery doesn't readily lend itself to wanting to read, I've found. Why is that? I think it may at least be partially what reading demands: some level of involvement, some mental work on putting the words together and, beyond the words, the greater meaning of the stories the words tell. That, I think, is at least partially the glory of reading. It gives, but it also demands. It is participatory, even when you think it's not. This is also the challenge of reading. And why I worry about its future: in the midst of struggles, it's somewhat hard to find the will to read. To learn. To be engaged. And I worry that we all face more struggles in the near future.
Uh oh. They tell me a positive attitude is imperative to healing, and that last sentence did not sound very positive. I'd better get to work on that.