new things

Friends, friends. Exhaustion. Needing a break. It feels like the theme of my life lately. Wanting to just look skyward and find relief from the problems of this world. I know, I know, that my problems, questions, worries and concerns are so few compared to those of others'. . . and yet, I'm still bogged down. 

. . . I was looking at my bookshelves this week and was struck with the desire to leap into each one of them and escape to their separate worlds. I wanted each world, each new place. Gone With the Wind, and Country of the Pointed Firs, and even just to the living rooms of poets--Mary Oliver, Wendell Berry, Mary Jo SalterI wanted to be someplace new. Hear new ideas. Feel new things. 

I dug into two new places this week--took my spade, so to speak, to new territories. 

1. I watched the film "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," based on a 1939 short story by James Thurber. The movie is directed by and stars Ben Stiller, and has a great message: don't live in your daydreams, don't limit yourself to the life you feel you've been left--go out and adventure, make life what you want it to be. 

2. I began Redeployment, by Phil Klay. It's a book of short stories that won the National Book Award a few years ago, and generally speaking, it's about the soldier's experience in Iraq. The book stood out to me as a modern-day The Things They Carried, by Tim O'Brien. I love O'Brien's work and so far, have been as deeply moved by Phil Klay. There's something I can't ignore about war stories. I can't turn my eyes away. Music can be on in the next room--the happiest song in the world--and I won't even hear it for the words on the page in front of me. The utterly close, in-body experience of someone in a war zone. It's something I'll never know. And though I've often considered myself a pacifist (albeit loosely), I'm grateful to those who have served. Reading Redeployment has been. . . necessary. 

Friends, that's all I have. Gigi is antsy, she wants to get outside. I should humor her. The fresh air will do me good. 

Be blessed, love deeply, go adventuring.