Good Reading Chairs


In the past year, I’ve noticed a certain insidious indecision creeping across my life (could be all the “who do you think you are?” I’ve faced at work) and I’m trying to unlearn it. I’ve been fuzzy on lots of things and more than a little depressed about the state of the world and I’ve not been who I want to be in the world, you know? Mostly because I’ve not really wanted to be in this world. There’s so much clear evidence to counter my optimism, which starts to look like naivety when lit that way. I’m not wrong. I just have to do the work anyway.

Because it has been so (metaphorically) dark, when the summer started to come to an end and literal darkness was fast approaching, I decided to overhaul the lighting in my living room. I got a reading lamp that arcs over the couch and another light fixture that radiates light from a previously dark corner. Now every single place to sit in my living room is a good reading spot.

The joy I need sometimes is a good place to sit, with my coffee or tea or cold cold water nearby, and a light shining on the pages of a book. Those “nameless and faceless times” that belong to no one but me. The holiday season, which is often a lot of bustle and interaction, can be lovely. But the balance can be tough to strike. So with the potential of more limited time alone, the prompt today is to meditate on your best expression of solitude. The kind of alone when you feel satisfied and enough.

by Sharon Chmielarz

He hadn’t been drinking, not for a Long Time, but things
were very very and she feared a slip and the puzzling remarks
on the radio that morning, a man parsing genes like a tax
collector, 40% you’re stuck with, 60% can go either way. Not
to forget chemical imbalances that may seem joyful but leave
a person sad and angry and frustrated, ravines her mind
wandered, courting easier, distracting thoughts: quarrels
with friends, grocery store lists. When suddenly there he
was, in the kitchen on the stool, feeling, well OK, looking
miserable. Head down, chin on his chest, he quietly said
he wanted to go to hell. Happiness, the radio had said, is
mostly found in small daily instances with occasional, merely
occasional, mind you, spurts of great joy. But what about
the nameless and faceless times, the random solitary hours,
the body of bones rattling through empty rooms once
renown for light glossing the windows, sofa, chair, table,
bookcase, turning everything into a creature of light, alive
and glowing. Wordless. And slowly she felt, yes, she should
say it, acknowledge it, a kind of coo-coo pleasure. Possibly
a spurt.

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