I finished a great book last night, and I accomplished it by engaging in what I have to call hybrid-reading. Last Christmas, a friend and I both asked for Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell. We always talk books. Every time we meet for coffee, the tablets come out and each of us wildly scribbles the other’s latest recommendations.
We both got it! I got started with this book and found it very difficult to get into. I was enjoying it, but could not make progress. I finally realized what it was, though it took me months to sort it out. Bedtime is my power reading time. I read lots while I’m getting ready, and then when we climb between the sheets I settle in for some good page time. By the time I’d get myself into bed, my eyes were not up to the tiny font size of this lovely edition. So it sat there, being shuffled ever farther down the pile. My friend finished it on a trip and so very much wanted to talk about it. I felt worse and worse – I talked her into asking for it, she did the work, and here was I…
I finally got it on audio. I listen to many books on audio, while I’m doing household chores. But here is the cool thing I discovered. A book on audio is its own thing, especially if it’s very long – some details are lost as one loses a bit of concentration; it’s really a very specific type of experience, not best suited for every book. As I listened this time, though I was able to dip into the pages, read a passage alongside, re-read bits, ponder. It was a really rich and wonderful way to experience a book I wasn’t going to finish anytime soon by the eyes-only method.
But wait – what about the water part?
I’ve been away from the swimming pool for about 3 weeks. Travel, family and pool closures kept me away. Today it was like coming home to slide into the water there, experiencing friendly faces and the wonderful care that the water gives to my body.
And as I moved in the lazy river, I recalled images from Cloud Atlas. I remembered the last line, which I will not share with you. It had to do with water, though, and the WHOLE of the world. Everything fell into place.
So today, a book and some water are moving in the same sphere.