I grew up having a passion for all things literature. In fact, the books I read today have coffee splattered stains and are tattered with crumpled, folded pages. My devotion results in hasty reading, absorbing the words etched on the pages as though they provide a means to an unmet need.
This all started when I was an infant – sitting in a closed-off, wooden crib, toys sprawled all around with a single children’s picture book propped to the side, waiting to be held. The book enticed me more than the baby doll, or the rattling toys that made irritating noises. My mom would awake from her sleep and find me sitting up, scanning the pages of these books, almost yearning for more.
This need for words started young.
I continued reading, clinging to the literary greats as means of escape from a reality that seemed a bit uncomfortable for my tender age of 11. At the time, books became my solace, my safe haven in a world that was chaotic and unpredictable.
Yet, as I got older, and maybe one could say bitter, I allowed the masterpieces that I held so dear to collect dust on my bed side table, only to sweep off the grey film when guests came over.
Reading no longer was a joy, it was a discipline etched into a schedule littered with trivial pursuits of adulthood. Pursuits that left me exhausted and weary, missing the days of my youth — days that held little responsibility, countless moments for never-ending dreaming and a heart full of naive freedom.
However, the books continued to call from my nightstand. They persisted to intrigue me with the remembrance of how their words were craftily strewn into immaculate sentences that left the reader wanting more.
More of the creatively strategic plot.
More from the characters who spoke life into personal circumstances.
More of brilliant metaphors that can only be described through written word.
And, most importantly, more meaning.
So, one night after much longing, I picked up a novel I had read years before, cracked the hard cover spine and slowly began to read. Reminding myself of the passion that was once buried deep.
I became enmeshed, and as the crisp, 2am night air peeked through the slit in the window pane, I knew that I had begun to found what I had thought I lost: fresh perspective into a dismal situation.