It's that time again, when I run down the books that I read throughout the year. Much to my chagrin, I did not hit my usual goal of 52, which I entirely blame on having a baby. Babies have a way of stealing time, and apparently, of letting you read books that are completely not worth whatever free minutes you have. You'll see what I mean below.
Ask any high school teacher you know: there are certain questions from parents that come up time and time again during parent-teacher interviews. The most common ones are usually marks related, but English teachers will tell you that parents also want to know how they can foster the joy of reading in teens who claim to "hate" books and wouldn't read one if their lives depended on it.
To many people with depression, Sadness is a physical place, and I'm someone who lived there for many years and was able to make the journey back. That's why reading this book, by Anne Theriault of The Belle Jar Blog, resonates with me so much. Everyone's experience is different, but the depths of depression are pretty much the same no matter how you get there.
A woman who reads will feel no hesitation when accepting your coffee invitation. She's read this story before. You will talk about your lives during the in between. She will find comfort in your intonation. She appreciates tone, syntax and timing, and welcomes subtle moments of silence and awkward spurts of simultaneous sentence starting.
You're a good person. I can tell this about you already. You're kind to your neighbours and the people you work with say nice things about you when you're not around. This isn't about you. It's about the type of person that ruins your day by sucking the life out of a conversation, sucking the enthusiasm out of a room, and just plain sucking.
In my 17-year-old mind, nothing I am living through or reading in this moment connects. Disjointed words, phrases, and images of the places I have left and entered surface in my mind as I pour milk for the children, take notes in class, or wait, endlessly, for the bus to arrive. It will take years to understand how powerful these textual and lived journeys have been.