Every night I sleep next to Barbara Kingsolver, Natalie Goldberg, Julia Cameron, Christina Baldwin, Sarah Ban Breathnach, Anne LaMott, and Tristine Rainer. They don’t get much action but I love them all and like having them close by.
Books on journaling, books on writing, and couple more on parenting. A few novels, two Brain, Child editions and an extra journal for those nights when I awake with an idea or a dream that is in danger of dissipating before dawn. Atop it all is my planner, my faithful sidekick which not-so-subtly informs me I do not have any extra minutes with which to read these volumes of verbiage.
I wish I had the ability to absorb all the knowledge and wisdom these books hold lovingly between their covers. The spirituality of the some of these writers astounds and inspires me. I want to take in every thought they have committed to paper, not just for myself and this journey I am on, but for those of you who read this blog and those I will be teaching in the future.
I also want to read to become a better writer myself. These writers have honed their craft until words cease to be just words. They become art on a canvas or a tug at the heart. Reading becomes the peace of the woods, the refrain of a chorus, the fingernail of a newborn baby.
I fantasize about sitting alone next to a roaring fire reading, writing, reading and writing some more. Lots of hot coffee, smooth chocolate, and sweet wine.
But my reality is far from that: Noise, school morning and bath time craziness, blogs to read and write, TV-addiction (yes, I admit it, but only a few particular shows), and a house that doesn’t respect me enough to keep clean.
Unlike a lover who would not tolerate being so often spurned, the precious ladies on my nightstand are willing to wait, are even amendable enough to allow the newest gem to be placed on top. Little by little I will glean what I can, when I can. Meanwhile I am hoping that their very presence next to my pillow is enough to make me a wiser, deeper, and more thoughtful woman, mother, and teacher.
What’s on your nightstand? What does it say about you?