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A New Happy Place

July 31, 2009

My attention span has become short.

So short that sometimes I start something as simple as typing a sentence and then–

Oh look! A squirrel!

(pronounce that the way Veruca Salt does in the Burton version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, because that particular pronunciation makes my heart smile.)

Part of a longing to be back in my hometown I’ve had lately has been because I know I’m distracted here and there’s something very simple about the entire concept of a small town like that.  I mean, my grandparents stopped paying for internet more than a year ago because they just weren’t using it, so you know if I made it back to visit, I’d be forced to take a break from the madness and just walk around town until I found a bowl of ice cream to slip over my lips and a swing set on which to kick up some dust and wonder how on earth we moved on those things for hours at a time without getting motion sick when we were kids.  There would be sitting on couches chatting over coffee in the mornings, playing the old, now desperately out-of-tune piano living in my grandmother’s basement, the one that used to sit on the north wall of our living room, the one I learned to love music on.  There would be phone calls to old friends, a stop at the local coffee shop, a trip or two out to a few of the local bars, a ride or two up and down Central Ave just for the heck of it, only to realize that we wasted an awful lot of time on less than a mile of pavement– back and forth.  Back and forth.

But what else was there to do?

Here, even when I’ve got not much to do, there’s always something to do, and it’s not that I get bored easily, it’s that I know there’s always something else waiting for me, so I move around aimlessly never really finishing anything until I’ve spent my day accomplishing nothing.

It’s getting annoying.

So what I decided to do was take my first trip to our public library.

The idea was to wander around and peruse the CD and DVD selection (I picked up some Joni Mitchell and some Paul McCartney and ‘Round Midnight on DVD and Casablanca on VHS), maybe pick out a book to read though probably not because I’m still in the middle of Wuthering Heights, and then just wander around the non-fiction section for awhile until I found something worth learning, pick up a book or two, find a chair, and spend my afternoon enlightening myself.  Paintings, artists–that’s what was in my head when I left.

But I never made it to the non-fiction section.  I was simply wandering through the adult fiction section to see what I had to look forward to when a tiny, tattered, paperback copy caught my eye.  A copy of a book I’d been meaning to read for, oh, probably five years now (ever since I saw the movie the first time).  I picked it up to page through it– 180 pages, tiny pages, large, spaced out print.

And I thought, oh man, I could read this in a day.

And then I did.

I found a chair and I sat down and spent maybe two and a half hours reading that book cover to cover.



I just needed to remind myself that I was capable of actual concentration, you know?  I thought, if I could spend my time sitting down, keeping my eyes in front of me and my mind on the subject at hand just for a few hours, I’d know I was capable of sitting down the day after and actually accomplishing something worth while.

So we’ll see when the worthwhile accomplishments begin taking shape.  They’ll have to, now, as I’ve proven to myself I’m capable of them.

I’ll get on to talking about the book itself soon and how it matched up with the movie because it’s really kind of interesting, but for now, I just want to know–

How do you escape your distractions?  Do you have a happy place?

Because my new happy place is the library.

Now if only it was just a bike ride away.  It would be just like being home.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. warriorpoetx permalink
    July 31, 2009 1:18 pm

    I have a lot of happy places. But my favorite is a loop of rural roads in my hometown that make a sort of spiral back to my house. I must have driven that same loop about a thousand times. Somehow I find it very calming. Which is silly I suppose, but then again, the library isn’t exactly an ashram either.

  2. verybadcat permalink
    July 31, 2009 1:32 pm

    My house, when I’m home alone. The porch or the bathtub, specifically.

    The Blue Ridge Parkway or Smoky Mountain National Park or really, any scenic wooded natural place.

    There’s another place, but it’s [redacted]. ;)

  3. cari permalink
    July 31, 2009 4:36 pm

    books pretty much rock my world.

    and my happy place… i honestly can’t even think of it. probably sitting watching a good movie. a place where i can just let my mind rest and be at peace, not thinking about anything.

  4. July 31, 2009 11:41 pm

    Aw, I just went to the library today! I love browsing through the CDs, I’m a music girl too :)

    My happy place? My grandma’s cottage on the swing under the porch. The park/woods that my dad and I used to walk through.

    Happy Friday!

  5. August 1, 2009 11:12 pm

    well i know i’ve told you where i think the happiest place on earth is, but since i don’t get to be there as often as i’d like, i’d have to say my happy place is driving aimlessly in my car with the radio/a cd cranked.

    also, stop making me all reminisce-y about home. :)

  6. August 7, 2009 8:13 pm

    the grandparents have re-entered the internet world, and even have a wireless network and a tiny PC!!

  7. August 10, 2009 2:10 pm

    Obviously way delayed, but YAY! Glad the library is a happy place for you :)

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