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a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

IN THE TWILIGHT OF MY LIFE

“Twice each day
a crack opens
between night and day.
Twice twilight
slips through that crack.

It stays only a short time
while night and day
stand whispering secrets
before they go their
separate ways.”

-from Twilight Comes Twice by Ralph Fletcher

I am in love with this poetic dictionary:
The 1995 edition of the Merriam Webster Desk Dictionary defines twilight as "a state of imperfect clarity."
Twilight has always been one of my favorite words, favorite ideas.  Not the book, not the movie, but the word itself, the meaning of it.

Recently, in a comment on my other blog, I was asked when I find time for so much reading.  My students often pose the same question.  In fact, just the other day some former students dropped by for a visit, lamenting that they no longer have time to read. 

This always puzzles me.  Does that mean that these people think I just live my life and read in the “leftover” time?  As if I find myself saying at 3pm each afternoon, “Gee, I have NOTHING to do.  I guess I might as well read to fill these few hours before dinner.” Really? 

The thing is, I don’t have a surplus of “extra” time or “free” time to spend reading.  I find the time, I make the time, I take the time.  Reading means that much to me.  

Mostly, I make good use of the twilight of my life—those moments in between waking and sleeping. 

I long for a book so good it is worth keeping the light on over on my side of the bed long after my husband has fallen asleep.  I treasure the mornings when enough sunlight finds its way through the filter of shades and curtains to allow me to sneak in a few chapters, maybe even the entire second half of a book, before my husband opens his eyes. 

Sure, there are nights when my eyelids are so heavy my book hangs over the edge of the nightstand, untouched.  Sure, there are mornings when my eyes are burning with the urge to shut tightly at the slightest hint of sunlight. 

But more often, are the moments of imperfect clarity when I find myself lost in the pages of book, so engrossed in story that I don’t even notice my elbow room has been severely encroached upon by the dogs flanking my sides.   These are the moments when the night and day of my life share the whispered secrets of story with me before going their separate ways—in the twilight of my life.

14 comments:

  1. I just "love" this post! I just finished writing about this very same post, however, yours was written so eloquently! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. You so emulate the life of the Book Whisperer! It's not about finding the time, but creating the opportunities to read. I feel the passion for reading through your words. Happy reading!

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  3. This is so beautifully written. The last paragraph perfectly illustrates the power of a good book to transport you out of the body and into the world of story. I share your longing for a book that keeps you awake into the wee hours.

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  4. Life is all about choices, isn't it. Enjoy your twilights.

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  5. A lovely and heartfelt post...

    If you love to read and want to read you will simply read...

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  6. It's darn good, Christy! I had a friend who once told me she never read, couldn't find the time, was just too busy. But she did make these beautiful quilts. I don't make quilts, & sometimes wish I did, but I do read. This line, "These are the moments when the night and day of my life share the whispered secrets of story with me before going their separate ways—in the twilight of my life." just beautiful, makes my heart sing!

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  7. What a gorgeous description in your last paragraph! I love the little details you offer that show what it's like to be engrossed in a book. That's how I always am when I read... unfortunately, I haven't been very good since college of actually making the time to read (books at least), so I really enjoyed this post of yours. (Loved your line about not having "leftover" time to read.) New goal: make some twilight time for myself!

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  8. Bravo, my friend. Your post is perfect. Yes, it is the choices we make, the priorities. I've been amazed at the moments I have been "stealing" to comment.

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  9. Just lovely...this is what it is to be a reader and live for the joy of reading.

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  10. I want to cheer and then take this post and hang it in my lounge. I love the word twilight too and especially how you use it to discuss finding the time to read. I get that question a lot. My response is that apparently I don't find reality TV as interesting as most so I don't have anything to watch. :)

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  11. Just lovely. So many of your lines remain in my heart and mind. I read this post this morning, but had to let it sit within me. People just don't get it. The reading thing. How it isn't something you do because you don't have something else to do. It's something you simply must do. thanks for sharing.

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  12. I sent this post to our reading coach...thinking about sharing it with some teachers during PD next week. I hope you're pleased with this slice. It's powerful.
    Ruth

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  13. Beautiful post. It says so much about who you are. I am glad that I know you (at least in the SOL world.)
    Terje

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  14. Christy- I am so glad I came across this post! Your passion for reading really shines through.
    "Find the time, Make the time, and Take the time" is inspiring. This entire post is so eloquent that the words just roll of the page. You have a truly special gift when it comes to writing.

    Inspiring!

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