July 12, 2018
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.
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.
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