January 21, 2017

THE NEXT CHAPTER


"The right to read whatever you want whenever you want is one of the fundamental rights that helps preserve all the other rights. It’s a right we need to guard with unwavering diligence. But it’s also a right we can guard with pleasure. Reading isn’t just a strike against narrowness, mind control and domination – it’s one of the world’s great joys."

William Schwalbe - Books for Living

In one of the few blog posts that I have made over the last year (or so), I questioned if the world even still blogs. Reading posts from my collection of favourite blogs used to be one of my daily enjoyments. And even more so, I enjoyed thinking up what I would post on our blog next, and which part of our story I would tell. When I got busy with working I started to feel like I didn’t really have much to tell, but slowly over time this has evolved into not really wanting to tell those stories even if I had the time.

Our world is so saturated with the information and the details of our lives that we never used to know about one another. The ability to broadcast and update our peers is out our fingertips, in our pockets, sitting in our bags ready to be accessed at any point during the day. I love it and I loathe it all at once. Dave and I haven’t been on Facebook for a few years now, it doesn’t mean we don’t find places to visit around the internet but I got tired of knowing what was going on in the lives of others without genuinely connecting with them or seeing them face to face.

Last year we had a little boy, his name is Finley and he is one of the biggest bringers of joy to us everyday. We love watching him grow, making him laugh and seeing who he will be. But at this point in time, I don’t want to put him on the Internet. I feel hypercritical saying that, mostly because it’s the genuine real life stories about families and people that I enjoy reading in blogs the most. Sometimes because I can learn something or glean some advice, other times its just entertaining seeing lives evolve and unfold like keeping up to date with your latest television show.

But in saying all that, like I’ve said before I miss existing in this small part of the internet myself, sharing my photos, doing a little bit of writing and even just keeping a record of where my thoughts are at at different points in time. And for a long time I have been wondering what this place could become if its no longer a journal of our adventures and photographs of our day-to-day lives. (The other thing too is, that I’m sure that in the space that I have made between making posts here I have probably lost most of those who used to stop by and read. So what it becomes is probably of little consequence.)

Since Finley was born Dave and I have started to read a lot of the same books as one another. For years we have worked through our own books and occasionally recommended the odd book to each other (mostly I recommend to Dave a book that he’ll read - I’m not always that good at accepting book recommendations, preferring to find the right read for the season that I’m in). But when we started to find ourselves awake at random parts at the night to feed an infant, we wanted something to do to pass the time while keeping the light and the noise low, so I began to embrace the e-book, and found I mourned the lack of paper less than I expected to – not at all.

Its no secret that I love to read, and I love to talk about the books that I read too. Even when I’m not reading for University (I’m trying to promise myself that I will finally finish that Masters this year), I highlight and collect quotes believing that small sentences are worth storing up for some unknown moment when I’ll need to draw on someone else’s wisdom. So that’s what I want to do here, if for no one else but myself (oh no I’ve started a stay-at-home mum project), I want to write about what I’ve enjoyed in what I’ve read lately.

This week I enjoyed two articles that reminded me of how books can keep us grounded in a world that is changing and evolving quickly. And how the simple question, “What have you been reading lately?” can reconnect us on a deeper level if social media has only enabled surface level connections.

Recommended reading:
Obama’s Secret to Surviving the White House Years: Books
Shared Worlds: In the age of connectivity, books are more important than ever

Picture:
A bunch of roses I bought last year in the middle of winter, not long before Finley was born. Shot on film.

P.S: Dear world,
Please don’t think I am judging how you make use of the Internet or preaching that you should do something different. But for me to curb my own bad habits of too much time on social media I chose to cut myself off from the source. What anyone else does doesn’t bother me at all.

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