Schopenhauer and Richard Flanagan staged a virtual intervention and made me realise I have a problem. I don’t know about acknowledging a higher power and all that, but I’ve decided to Cut. Down. On. My. Reading. Habit.
So, I resolved, there’ll be no more reading before the sun is over the yardarm. I’ll take the dog on her morning walk bookless.
Yesterday was the first day of this desolate new regime. I left American Rust beside my bed. As I was packing the plastic bags, I caught my addictive brain thinking, ‘Maybe I could just slip the anthology of Chinese poems in as well.’ Resisting that temptation, I then had to stop my hand from picking up the Asia Literary Quarterly of its own volition, and then the Monthly. But I got out the door with no printed matter about my person, had a very pleasant walk and on my return actually managed to engage with my current writing project sufficiently to get some words on paper.
And I got to notice odd things around the suburb, like this big button squash put out to ripen in a back lane, for all the world like a pumpkin in a French village:
I still allow myself to read on the afternoon dog-walk. Yesterday we went on a 30-page excursion.
Um – just while you’re not reading , have you notread Salinger’s “For Esme With Love and Squalor”? Because just between us I think it’s got some of his very best writing in it….
(I’m only not-reading in the mornings.) ‘For Esme with Love and Squalor’ is one of the titles my big brother used to intone reverentially. On your recommendation I’ll put a little more oomph into my search for a copy
Oh good. The title story isn’t his best, but some of the others are…..
1. Lukewarm turkey is more dangerous than cold turkey. (Food hygiene comment.)
2. Is your view, that a squash that big is in need of ripening, an educated one? (Kitchen garden comment)
Untangentially – bravo!
Hygiene metaphor may be appropriate. Time will tell.
Not so much the size of the squash as its hue. In the actual world it was almost as pale as in the photo, and I think they’re supposed to go a deep yellow
I was gobsmacked by your non-reading declaration until I realised it was JUST for the AM walk for Pete’s sake.