I bought a book the other day. One of those impulsive, compulsive purchases that leave me feeling like I’ve done something good in the world. Of course the feeling is altogether misguided. Later, while reading the paltry balance on my bank statement I grudgingly admitted that I hadn’t done the world a favour at all. I continue to contribute substantially to the culling of unsuspecting forests the world over and in similar murderous vein my bank balance is rapidly dwindling. And it’s my bank balance that does not have a single dedicated organisation campaigning for it’s preservation. The usual protocol to follow after raiding a bookstore is to scratch my name onto the inner cover of the book, marking my territory, animal planet style and then stack up the book on my leaning tower of similarly unread foibles. I then customarily look at my shelves and solemnly swear never to commit deforestation again. But it’s often not all disastrous, especially when I do put on a scholarly veneer, remove said book from the precariously petering tower and open it to a gem like this:
Not to let a word get in the way of a sentence,
Not to let a sentence get in the way of its intention,
But to send your mind out to meet the intention
-as you would a guest-
that is understanding.
I also read a short, sharp little book called Life on the Refrigerator yesterday. It is a charming little book, consisting entirely of notes left on the refrigerator door by a mother and daughter. The story itself left me in tears and while it took me all of an hour and a half to complete, it left me questioning the nature of our interactions with friends and family. Anybody who’s been out with me between 22h00 and midnight knows that my parents and I certainly don’t have communication gaps. Communication gluts would me more accurate. The book though led me to question what exactly I communicate with others. In continually claiming to be busy, sending off that text and putting off face-to-face contact, rushing off to do something else, somewhere else, it’s not time I’ve come to be short of, it’s the many people I’ve had to sacrifice in the name of being too busy to visit their new babies or offer my condolences at the loss of a parent. And yet my Facebook friend list counts some 300 people as friends. We’re all becoming strangely more entrenched into little worlds of our own despite all this interconnectedness. And in rushing in and out, perfecting this facade of being too busy, how much are we leaving unsaid?