Cooped up. But here’s what I’m getting ready to read next. I’ve read The Hobbit before, and read it aloud to my children before, but it’s been quite some time. I’ve just finished reading a memoir, will finish up friend and DMQ Reviews’ editor Annie Kim’s remarkable new book of poetry, Eros Unbroken, and then, to the Hobbit hole, and there and back again. I’m ready to lose myself in this familiar tale, a hero’s journey, with all the page-turning adventures that lie along the way. You’ve never read it? Aw, come on!
Reading is one way to find some wings during this time of isolation and confinement. To be carried away on the wings of words, taken by the imagination, to lose myself in a narrative outside my own inner monologue offers a great escape, and somehow a way “there” into the unknown, and a way back, distracted if not renewed. But I hope renewed. What are you reading?
I found another type of wings: my bike! Do you have one? It was so invigorating to stream through the spring air, pedaling, pedaling, feeling wind on my face. Feeling distance pass beneath the tires, remembering how the body remembers, through movement. It’s so different from riding in/on a vehicle. To propel myself through space, foot to pedal, pedal to chain, chain to wheel, pushing, turning, spinning. Well clearly some imagination was at work as well, but even now I can re-imagine that short ride. I can breathe the memory in. There will be more.
We are cooped up, but we do have wings. Here’s another I’ve recently discovered. I’ve had a couple of distance visits using Zoom, a free online program, and while I can’t reach out and touch someone through the computer screen, it’s so great to see the faces of friends gathered in one “place.” I’ve got a virtual happy hour scheduled tomorrow. Such amazing new ways to connect, to spring out of the cages of our rooms and gloomy thoughts. What are your wings?
There and back again, that’s my goal this season. As with any hero’s journey, I don’t know where the way leads or how I’ll make it. Part of the journey involves self-care, another extending care to others, or as Amy Klobuchar said, to “be generous in spirit.” The two are linked, right? A broken spirit needs care in order to be generous, and quite often being generous buoys the spirit, another type of wings.