Since the process of assessment and therapy for X began I’ve found myself floating further and further away from myself as my thoughts were consumed with the ‘A’ word and all that goes with it. Autism can be all encompassing. Pair it with breastfeeding and a mother is sure to lose herself entirely to obligations, charting, therapeutic methods and growth spurts. Part of this is normal when you have a new baby. Everything is upside down while you struggle with the new normal. The rhythm of life changes and you need to learn new dance steps to stay in time.
Lately I haven’t been dancing much at all. I’ve been running full tilt and that has to stop. My mind has not been clear. Fatigue hit my body hard. I knew that something had to give and I needed to take a little time for myself so I bought a book, sat down with my Kindle and began to read. I read all the time so this wasn’t an unusual action for those around me but lately the books I’ve chosen have been soft, fluffy things to keep my spirits up. Last week though I went another way and purchased Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor. Something happened in the reading of this book. It was as if a light switched on inside me which had been off for months. Suddenly I found myself overwhelmed with thoughts and ideas of my own. I was reflecting and probing areas I’d long since neglected. It was wonderful. When I turned the last page yesterday I found myself a little sad that it was over. Over the span of the evening I found myself flirting with an idea. I thought it might be fun to challenge myself to read 52 books this year. Not 52 books in general. I could definitely read that over the course of a year but 52 books to challenge the heart and mind. Books that would encourage me to think and discern. Books that require me to actively engage instead of be passively entertained.
I think one book a week is doable. I have no desire to entirely abandon entertainment reading or the latest episode of Castle and I think this will allow me to incorporate it all. Some grace will be allowed. If a book is particularly gruelling or ridiculously long I may evaluate the length of time in which I must have it finished but for the most part I expect a book a week is possible. If you have any suggestions for books you think I simply must read please leave them in the comment section. I have 50 more books to choose and would love to discover what has impacted you in your spiritual journey.
This week I am reading The Inner Experience: Notes on Contemplation by Thomas Merton.