Often we look so long at the closed door we do not see the one that has been opened for us. (Helen Keller)
Recently life has been filled with frustrations; organizing new cards, finding old receipts and worrying about replacing the stolen new car. Our family and friends have been absolutely wonderful and so supportive. They shine a bright beam of love into our lives and we feel so fortunate to have such positive people around us. They are the door that has been opened to us and we appreciate each and every one.
But sometimes something will unexpectedly trip you up and forces you to look at the closed door. My dark blue backpack was discovered under the water at the end of a jetty. It has been there for two weeks. Discarded. Thrown away. The things that supported me and my life, considered worthless.
In that pack was my reading glasses, spare pills, writing pad, the pen inscribed with my name etc. Everything smelt of black mud, death and decay. Unable to be resurrected everything had to be abandoned, tossed in the bin, removed from my life. I have washed a black pashmina shawl and a folding shopping bag four times in strong detergent. They are hanging on the line in the vain hope that sunshine, rain and wind may take away the smell of decay. Fingers crossed.
So what has pulled me out of the morass in my mind and allowed me once again to see the open door? A writing friend asked me to read a draft of her latest novel to see if it is ready to move forward on the road to publication. Reading the 324 pages gave me the space I needed to regain my perspective and reset my thinking from negative to positive. I gave myself permission to leave everything unattended while I read Falling Pomegranate Seeds: The duty of Daughters by Wendy Dunn . I found myself immersed in a 15th century world of power, courtly intrigues, life and death drama, failed relationships, love and redemption.
How magical reading is in times of stress. It transports us to another time and place. A good book entertains, a great book entertains and informs. It can change our perspective. By the end of the manuscript I was thankful for what I have and the life I lead. After all, a robbery is insignificant in the overall scheme of things. Distressing? Yes. Devastating? No. It is simply a hiccup to be managed, dealt with and forgotten.