I had to get away. I knew the little tragedies we faced each day were far less than what most people face, but they were my tragedies and the easiest way to escape them was to do just that- escape. Walking into the library and smelling the familiar old book smell was immediately comforting to me. Who would I be today? An astronaut? A mother? A mouse? An astronaut mother mouse? Each book I pulled from the shelf was like opening a present. You really can't tell what a book is like from the cover, at least, not in the eighties. Today I go in and the covers are not sparse maroon with gold trim that leave you wondering what on earth is inside. Instead they are laden full of images with half the story spread out in bold type. But what I really liked was the freedom to put the book down. If it was boring I rarely made it past page ten. If it was hard, as in, I needed to be reading it but just wasn't quite emotionally ready just yet, then I usually made it half way. If I could tell it wasn't going to end the way I wanted it to I would stop short, just before the end, and re-write it in my head. Because who wouldn't want to? Wouldn't you stop the car short of crashing into the wall to save her? Wouldn't you go back in time and yank the butter out of your father's hand so he's still around today?
It wasn't until college until I learned to stick with a book. To sit and read. To let it take me. Let it take me where I did not want to go. Off to a far away land where people died and I couldn't just shut my eyes and make it all go away. Make me experience the words in flesh and choose my response rather than escaping it. It was through reading that I learned to deal with life, to face it rather than ignore it, and to step into the stream of life that is much bigger than me. The best thing though is when I gave up the pen. For He is a far better author than I am and when I sit back and read His words and trust God is in control I can truly enjoy the Story.