I used to choose my spiritual books based on where I perceived myself to be on my life’s journey. I would browse the bookstore or library shelves until a title said to me, “I am exactly what you need. I am going to change your life.”
Lately books have been choosing me instead of the other way around. It feels sometimes like books are strangers come to my house. When I open the door, they walk in, sit right down, put their feet up and make themselves at home. One problem is that a new visitor will come before others leave and my house is getting pretty full. My guests always have something worthwhile to say, I have to admit. But sometimes there are too many voices. Right now there are six. Two are leaving soon, thank goodness. I really liked these two. Both were sharp, insightful and funny. One has stopped talking but is waiting around until after my book club discusses it. One is so relevant to my life right now that it is kind of eerie. One was a special surprise, an old friend that I hadn’t seen in years, so long in fact, that I’d just about forgotten about it. The last one that showed up is one that a friend is also reading and we plan to talk about it. That one will probably stay around the longest.
Once in a while, someone comes by that bores me to death. I usually just kick these out, but once in a while I feel sorry for them and allow them to stay. The one good thing about these is that they have the capacity to make me sleepy. Sometimes that is exactly what I need.
I really love reading, but it is getting so that it can take up to two hours in the morning in order for each of my guests to have a chance to talk. But heck, I am retired. There are other things I need to do but only a few are attached to a specific day and time. Sometimes I fear I am shirking my duties in the family and in the world, but that feeling passes quickly when I get lost in these morning conversations. In fact, my spending time with these intruders seems to change how I do my duties.
I don’t know how these guests found out about me but I am always surprised by how much they know me.