Other people’s words about … reading
For me, reading was never an antisocial activity. It was deeply social. It was the most profound kind of socialising there was. A deep connection to the imagination of another human being. A way to connect without the many filters society normally demands.
So often, reading is seen as important because of its social value. It is tied to education and the economy and so on. But that misses the whole point of reading.
Reading isn’t important because it helps to get you a job. It’s important because it gives you room to exist beyond the reality you’re given. It is how humans merge. How minds connect. Dreams. Empathy. Understanding. Escape.
Reading is love in action.
From ‘Notes on a Nervous Planet’
by Matt Haig
I love these words by Matt Haig. Reading gives me, too, the sense that my mind is merging with another person’s mind. Sometimes, a good book will make me cry; sometimes it will make me laugh. Always, a good book gives me a sense of connection, and a sense of escape.
I mentioned in a recent post that I was going through a quiet phase in my life, feeling my way through it. That hasn’t changed: I’m still there, still in that quiet phase. I’m spending my days learning the ropes as a freelance editor: working out the things I like about freelancing, along with the things I don’t; working out the things I can change, along with the things I can’t. Sometimes I feel as though my journey away from salaried employment towards freelance work — a journey that I was forced into, but that I have chosen to continue on, at least for now — is a hopeful, purposeful one, and sometimes I feel as though it’s a short-lived, doomed one.
Whichever it is, I’m still here. I’m still on my journey.
A quiet day at the jetty
Most of all, I’m still reading. Reading helps me through these quiet days. It helps me make sense of them. It helps me feel connected.
It helps me, simply.
A quiet end to a quiet day