It’s World Book Day. So put down that phone, close that laptop, pick up that beautiful object made of paper and riffle through it. Feel the smooth slide of those pages, those former trees now at the service of literature. Absorb those words. Slip the book into your pocket or purse – no need to plug it in. It’s just there, always waiting for you, shining in the dark. Magic. An invention we cannot live without.
Thank you Johannes Gutenberg – 1398-1468!
In other news … not much. It’s cold. I watched the last episode of “Call the Midwife” for the second time last night – Chummy’s dreadful mother dies – and wept all over again. So good. And then, of course, Jon Stewart, aware that these are my precious last months with this beloved man.
Tomorrow I go for the weekend to Ottawa – balmy Ottawa – to visit dear Auntie Do, who will soon be 95 and is sounding pretty shaky. Tomorrow night I am taking her and her 3 best friends in the building to dinner. They play Scrabble every Sunday afternoon and are hot to trot. I on the other hand will slow down. Someone left a book by the Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh in my Little Free Library, and what I read suggests that when you focus on your breathing for meditation, you say the words “In” as you breathe in, and – you guessed it – “Out” as you breathe out.
I’ve been doing that. And it’s amazing that suddenly, when you focus on your breath and think the words, speed decreases and things that seemed important don’t any more. Try it now. Think “In” as you breathe in and “Out” as you breathe out. And suddenly there you are, a living being on the planet, aware that you, like countless other creatures, are alive.
I will be doing a lot of In and Out in Ottawa.