I have been up at 3am every day since we've arrived. By the time I use the bathroom and climb back in bed, I am wide awake. So, I get up, creep downstairs as silently as I can, and with flashlight in one hand, I open a book with the other. Jet lag is good for something.
To be honest, I haven't truly escaped into the depths of literary magic for some time. And when I say "escape", I mean hours. I can't remember the last time I finished a book in a few days. I can't remember the last time a book has hypnotized me enough to want to do so. But see, I have found a new read, just before boarding the plane at the Paris airport. I found Haruki Murakami. Yes, I believe I have heard of him before. Chances are my mother is a big fan, but I haven't asked her yet.
Kafka on the Shore is surreal, thrilling, mysterious, eccentric, metaphorical, symbolical, and evocative, and it is exactly what I have needed. I'm on page 415, with 200 more pages to go, but I am already wondering which of his books I will read next.
(Sidenote: For two days now I have just left Murakami's website open in the background to listen to the music. It's a perfect melodic compliment.)
I am also reading The Wisdom of No Escape by Pema Chödrön. It is a compilation of her talks given during a one month meditation retreat in Gampo Abbey in 1989. This book is a familiar read in the sense like talking to an old friend. It's full of inspiring bits you've heard before about acceptance, balance, self-love, mindfulness, joy and so on. The need for me to re-read, re-learn, and re-mind myself of these things feels cyclical, always arriving on a wave of instinctive necessity. Gentle guiding notes are what I seek right now, and with this book, I am finding it.
"A much more interesting, kind, adventurous, and joyful approach to life is to begin to develop our curiosity, not caring whether the object of our inquisitiveness is bitter or sweet. To lead a life that goes beyond pettiness and prejudice and always wanting to make sure that everything turns out on our own terms, to lead a more passionate, full, and delightful life than that, we must realize that we can endure a lot of pain and pleasure for the sake of finding out who we are and what this world is, how we tick and how our world ticks, how the whole thing just is. " ~ Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape