I can't read anymore.
In five months, I've only finished one book.
This is beyond disturbing. I spontaneously started to read before I was in Kindergarten; my brain was just wired to revel in the printed word. For my entire life, I have fed my imagination, mind, heart, and soul with words.
My book loves have been highbrow and low art, epic and long-lasting, quickies in the bath. If I were to list the genres or titles, they would seem a mere list to you. But reading. My whole life, reading...
My laughs, entertainments, wonderment, and deep anchors for my soul have been found in all these book loves. The only thing I love more than reading is traveling. Yet all the places I go without moving an inch... books give me that.
And I can't do it anymore.
It could be the impact and grief of Granny Goo dying.
It could be not having a consistent job; just subbing and tutoring. There's a less clear delineation between work time and leisure time. If I don't have a consistent job, maybe I feel as if I can never really rest.
It could be living with a new roommate. I spend more time being social without leaving the house.
Whatever the cause, this has never happened before.
Oftentimes in my life, I break faith with my body. I don't take that walk. I don't drink that water or eat those veggies. I don't listen to my muscles, needing to stretch; my tiredness, needing to sleep. I don't give my body what it needs.
Sometimes in my life, I have broken faith with my God. I find myself unable or unwilling to pray. To breathe. To cry out. To become still.
But I have never broken faith with my books. I feel as if I am without my bearings.
During the fall, I mentioned to a friend who is a similarly inclined that I am not able to read. He told me of a time in his life that he had the same experience. He was depressed, he said.
But I don't know that I am depressed. I'm pretty sure I'm not, actually.
In all things, I believe that sometimes you have to lie fallow. As a teacher, pray-er, and writer, I have had to stop and wait to feel my creativity, vibrancy, interest to return. I have to fill back up in order to experience these realities anew.
But reading has always been a way that I have used to fill up. Is it possible that I need to lie fallow... from books?
How do I travel? Laugh? Be entertained? Find wonderment? Give my soul the deep anchors it needs?
My only guess is to involve myself in the other things I sometimes break faith with. To pay close attention to my body, give it what it needs. To go outside. To revel in relationships with others. To anchor my soul back again and again into God. To literally travel. To garden. To sing. To dance. To gaze at the sky, the stars.
It might be like having lost a sense, for my book sense is a profound and much-used one, indeed. If I have lost that, might my other senses become more acute?
I hope and pray that my book love returns. But I will wait. And as I do, I will move myself deeper into life, into the things that bring me back to myself. Even if books are lost, I am not lost.