Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Beyond the Sentimental Journey

An agonizingly wonderful and heart-wrenching one, more like.

I've emerged, not yet a half-hour ago, from finishing "reading", listening to the Outlander novel that I mentioned two blog posts ago.  I really buckled down with both the listening of the story and the knitting of the orange sock (see previous post).  Well, I couldn't help it, really, as I was smitten with both.  These orange socks, especially the second, will be eternally linked in my memory with the novel.

(Possible SPOILER moments ahead - you are warned!)
This book has so many "on-the-edge-of-your-seat" moments, so many "Will he/she make it, or die?" scenarios, that I've come away sad, happy, exhausted, exhilarated, wanting more, and needing a break!  I became so attached to our two main characters, Claire and Jamie, that the thought of either of them dying, or being apart was torture!  Diana Gabaldon, the author, is a very good storyteller.  She knows how to create conflict, by God, but really, sometimes it was too much!  I was so stressed out about the situation near the end last night when I went to bed, that I stayed awake until 3am, listening, in a cold sweat, needing to go on, but terrified of what the outcome would be.  I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep leaving that part of the story unresolved, so I persevered.

There are several books in the series, and I plan to read all of them.  I am tempted to dive right into the next one, Dragonfly in Amber, but I think I'll take a wee break.  On the Ravelry group, there is a RAL (read-a-long) starting soon with one book option likely being a Brother Cadfael book called Monk's Hood.  I've seen the BBC movie versions of these books, so am now ready to read the books.  It'll likely be in audiobook format too, as I can knit while "reading".  I also get one credit with Audible.com every month, so can choose Monk's Hood for this month, and perhaps in August, download the next Outlander novel.  That'll give me a chance to return to, ahem, a more normal way of functioning, day-to-day.

Why do I say this?  Well, this afternoon, as my sons were occupied with play, and I was washing the dishes, I realised that I had been so wrapped up in the Outlander story, it felt like I was going through the motions of my normal daily activities.  I was living so much in the world of the characters and their story that I was barely living in the present.  I thought about this, as I watched my sons, and it came to me, about how my boys live.  Children, especially very young children, live in the present moment all the time.  I believe it's a Buddhist concept (could be for others too) about trying to live and focus on the present moment as much as possible.  We adults are very guilty of living in/for the past and/or the future, or living in our heads, and often forget about just "being" in the present moment.  We ponder, meander, wonder, wander.  A three-year-old now?  No, he is entirely in the "here and now".  Unlike his mother who has been floating through mid-18th century Scotland for the last week ;-)

p.s.
Everything I think now, with my "in-my-head" voice, has a Scottish accent.  Damn.

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