Thursday Treasures #5: Reading

July 12, 2018

Post #106

Thursday Treasures #5,  by Lynda McKinney Lambert

 

Note: For today’s Thursday Treasure, I went to my other blog, “Walking by Inner Vision,” Read it here!

I looked into my Archives at Walking by Inner Vision.  I started that blog in December 2009 because I wanted to find a way to communicate with others after my 2-year struggle to be able to use a computer again.

I was trying to recapture my life, after an unexpected  life-altering event.

Today, I’m  publishing an article I first published on February 19, 2010.  I’ve revised that essay  for my readers here at SCAN.

 

Reading: The Stuff of Life

I am reading

 The Power of Myth

by Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers.

This book was on my book shelves for a number of years. It is a larger book that is easily noticeable. I often picked it up and looked through it, waiting for a time when I could sit down and really learn from these two remarkable men.

 

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During my teaching years at Geneva College,

I often thought about what I would do

 

“When I RETIRE”

 

My profession required extensive reading. I loved to read and

I devoured books and periodicals like there was no tomorrow.

However, the reading I did for my courses was always centered around what I taught in my courses.

I longed for more  time to read outside my course materials and requirements.

I thought ,

Someday I will  be able to do that, when I retire.

I began working  towards that magical future time when I could read to my heart’s content with no goal of ever teaching the material. I wanted to  read  just for me. I would read to satisfy my inner longings. I would read for myself alone. I would read for the sheer joy of reading.

I prepared for my retirement, for years!

My book collection was a treasure  trove of books  gathered  & put on shelves in my home library.

The book treasures  awaited my day of liberation when I could begin reading them. I could spend my retirement days with a precious book in my hands, and have no concern about time or interruptions.  I imagined this new freedom, every day.

I anticipated the time when I no longer had to spend time on the road, traveling to classes, or taking trips for business purposes.

I would not have to organize classes or  take students on international study trips. And, no more endless meetings around a table, talking about strategies, evaluations and future plans for student development.

In my envisioned retirement, I would no longer write conference presentations, faculty reports,  or attend  professional development sessions.

I would merely be reading my accumulation of books from my library shelves. I’d be content.

 

My retirement collection contained books of poetry, art, and great literature  – many of the books are by authors I was not teaching in the classroom.

Some are by my favorite poets, and some are poets I want to read but never had time because of my intense teaching schedule. Of course, I had a collection of hundreds of books from which I created courses. But, my treasured books for retirement were different.

Each book, a treasure, carefully  selected and collected.  

 

What I did not  know was  that a CATASTROPHY  would STOP me COLD!

 Ischemic Optic Neuropathy

  changed my plans. I experienced sudden, permanent, and profound sight loss.

 

All of my  reading is now through technologies either on my computer or on a special machine provided to Blind and Handicapped  people. While I am thankful to be able to read this way, it is certainly not as satisfying as holding a real book in my hands – feeling it’s heft; its unique smell; and the sense of touch from my fingers on the binding or the page edges. And, listening to someone read the book takes away almost all of the quiet and personal imagination that is so much richer.  I will never get used to a professional voice reading a book to me. The voices inside my head, in my imagination, have been abducted by those voices on the machines. I hate it!

 

Despite all of my personal emotions at the drastic changes in how I read, I am still very thankful for  books provided as sound recordings by he National Library of Congress.  I am able to order a variety of books I would like to read, but the books by contemporary poets are quite few. I still love academic books by academics and in the poetry section they simply are not there!  The books from NLS come directly to my house and are sent through the postal service to  my mailbox.

 

Because I love the feel of a physical book, some days, I struggle to read one of my books by using a CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) which is a magnification device. I can only read a very small portion of text at a time, but I am grateful that I still have a small amount of vision so I can actually SEE some text.  I still love the feeling of a real book in my hands, even though my ability to read it as I sit on a comfortable sofa in my library is no longer possible. I’d give anything to snuggle with a quilt on a winter’s day with my book in my hands  and my mind and imagination taking flights of fancy.  There is no replacement for those delights. No machine can do it.

I am thankful for this retirement time  away from the bustle and frenzy that was my professional life up until ELEVEN  long years ago.

However, the loss of eye sight brought new vision to me and I can see some things I would never have known existed if I had not lost most of my sight.  My daily walk is quite different now. But, it is a precious life, nevertheless. I can hear nuances in a voice that tell me exactly what a person is thinking – not what they are saying. I am not distracted by their  expressions now.  I am far more aware of perceptions than I ever was when I had full sight.

As I edit this essay, my two dogs lay nearby and my 2 cats come into my office to sit in the open window each morning. We greet each day together, and it is a good life. My retirement is satisfying and I have even had the time to write books and poetry.  I just completed the work on my 3rd book,  a full-length book of poems,  (Star Signs: New and Selected Poems) and my first chapbook, first snow, is ready for publication, too.

As I write. my 2 dogs  are asleep nearby.  Our 2 cats spend a lot of time in my writing office and like to sit in the open window to survey their world.

Good books and contented dogs & cats bring joy to my life.

READING  is the stuff of MY life.

____________________

 

Thursday Treasures is brought to you by the author, Lynda McKinney Lambert.

Copyright July 12, 2018. All rights reserved.

SCAN is the sole property of Lynda McKinney Lambert.

Guest writers may not always reflect the opinions of Lynda Lambert, but this blog is designed to feature authors and artists who have a positive world view.

SCAN is a QUIET PLACE of Inspiration. We love all things ART, NATURE and Literature.

 

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4 thoughts on “Thursday Treasures #5: Reading

  1. Lynda.

    A wonderful post.

    A couple of suggestions for you.

    First, you should check out:

    https://bard.loc.gov

    From there you can search the NLS collection select and download your own books, and yes there is a treasure trove of poetry

    We review them on the DB-Review Book list more and more.

    You can also select from hundreds of musicals plays, and so much more. While the librarians at NLS are good there’s nothing like picking your own books.

    Even if you do not do the downloading you can at least choose all the books you want, call the library and have them delivered to you.

    Second, if you’re very serious about wanting to hold a book in your hands again why do you not learn Braille?

    There are hundreds upon thousands of books in Braille and they will allow you that quiet reading pleasure you desire.

    This post was reblogged at:

    http://campbellsworld.wordpress.com/

    Like

    • Thanks for your comments. Upon further reflection, Patty, I realize it is reading with my eyes that I really want. I want to use my sense of physical sight – not use another sense to read. That is what I am missing. For a visual artist we operate by visual sight which connects with our intuition. I only speak of my own experience and expectations, and I am being honest. Others have an entirely different view than I have. That is to be expected.

      I began learning braille at the beginning of my sight loss – in my training at Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services in Pittsburgh, PA. I continued learning Braille after I returned home following the 3-month stay at BVRS. I completed the first course at Hadley, also, and was on the second course in Braille at that time. But, I am a visual artist – and reading by my finer was so unsatisfactory to me that I quit.

      A visual learner has a different type of sensibility. It is in-born. It is our core.
      I decided I did not want to put in the time to learn Braille because I wanted to spend what time I have making ART not learning Braille.
      It is an entirely different experience – not the same brain function as making art or using vision to capture imagery. It is a different experience for everyone and you have to really want to learn Braille to do it. I don’t have a reason to do it.

      Like

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