Falling Into Books

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Sometimes when I’m reading a book, I have to lay it down because a certain sentence or a phrase has just passed through my body and forever altered me. It takes a few minutes or a few hours to adjust to the frisson of energy carried by those words.

I have to stop and breathe those words deep into my body. The soft caress that comes with a phrasing so beautifully gentle it’s as if they are growing down from the heavens and up from the earth at the same time. The first green shoots of the daffodil in January, the crocus in February (here in Vancouver anyway). Strong and resilient, yet tender and vulnerable.

Sometimes they are the sudden crashing of a heavy spruce into the ground. My body shudders with the strength and fury of the sentences driving deep into my being.

They are words that meet and grow in my heart.

Oh, how I want to write like this!” I think, as I lay the book across my heart, hoping to infuse myself with the talent through some kind of magical osmosis.

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be a writer. And then I wanted to be a dancer on the Carol Burnett Show. And when I was introduced to the world of plays I added Actor to that list. To me they are all interconnected threads of creativity, cut one away and my entire world begins to unravel.

I feel so at home surrounded by words. Surrounded by the world of storytelling. I grew up the daughter of a broadcaster, playing among sets at the TV studio, appearing in TV shows, specials and commercials. By the time I was six years old I was winning public speaking contests, too young to even know to be nervous. It was as natural to me as breathing.

I wrapped my imagination around me like my own favourite blanket. I still do. Whenever I am feeling lost or alone, I reach for a book and immediately ground myself in the wonders of the world within.  Reading and writing (and acting) are as integral to my spiritual practice as is meditation and prayer.

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10 Comments

Filed under Spirituality, Writing

10 responses to “Falling Into Books

  1. I love the world of storytelling!! Everyone has a story. ( some of mine are made up lol)!!

    • Yes, the wondrous thing is that everyone does have a story…and every one of them is made up! We weave our own illusions around the ‘facts’ to tell our stories….and I love that.
      I used to write ‘made up’ stories all the time, but those muscles haven’t been used in a while. In the meantime I’m thoroughly enjoying reading others – such as yours! 🙂

  2. Reading, writing, prayer and music….yes, these bring peace to the soul. ♥ paula

  3. Yes, so true, and the words just swirl around as if they are alive. They are, aren’t they.

  4. Hi Terri,
    What a wonderful childhood you must have had! And what a blessing to have grown up with no fear of public speaking. The best thing I ever did for my kids was to hide my performance anxiety before a show, and they both grew up very comfortable with public speaking.
    I loved your description in this post; it is clear you have a love and a talent for words.

    • Thank you Naomi. I’ve never had the same fear of public speaking as many people do…although that’s not to say I don’t feel nervous or sometimes fear, I think it’s more a passion within me is stronger. And it sounds like it’s the same for you – a passion for storytelling that is stronger than performance anxiety! It’s wonderful that you’ve shared and imbued your kids with the gift of ‘speaking in public’. 🙂

      • Hi Terri,
        I think that’s a great of putting it–that my passion is stronger than my performance anxiety. I’ve heard that when asked to prioritize their fears, more people place public speaking higher on the list than dying. Which means, literally, that at a funeral they’d rather be in the coffin than giving the eulogy!

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