When I get anxious,
I make stacks of books.
I set them on tables around the house;
The kitchen table,
The coffe table,
The small table next to the bookshelf – redundant and comforting.
I carry them with me from room to room – always a stack because I cannot decide which words I should read before I sit down.
A cup of coffee and a water bottle are constant companions to these books;
These and good intentions.
Sometimes – like I have done the past 3 days – I pick up a small novel and tune out the world for an hour – getting lost in the story and crying at the end.
I cry at the end of most novels – children’s novels especially.
Not because the story is ending,
Not because the story is particularly sad;
Usually, because there is newfound joy or hope, even amidst sadness or epiphany. This is how children’s stories – end.
This is how most stories end.
I love that.
Maybe, this is why I make stacks of books when I’m anxious.
Maybe, I recognize – even without stopping to reflect in this way – that these stories might carry little glimpses of hope and joy – contrived in the experiences of fictional and real characters, alike – Glimpses of hope and joy that quell the anxiety. That tell me to keep going – remind me to keep trying.
And how about you?
What’s in your stacks of books?
What is your stack of books?