There’s something I live with very uncomfortably. I find it hard to read these days. I don’t mean physically – oh, I need glasses now for everything, but I can still see the words okay. For a while I wondered if it’s because I’ve been affected by too much influx of material and too many short pieces and one-liners from the internet. But there are still some books I get immersed in and read all the way through. It's not that I can't concentrate - I can; ferociously.
I recently came across Margaret Lacey’s Silent Friends: A Quaker Quilt, and loved it. I had no trouble staying with that.
I used to read hungrily, all the time. But, look, I have this heap of worthwhile, interesting, intelligent books here – which many would agree I could surely benefit from reading.
And they just make me feel tired.
I start to read and feel my energy slowly draining away. It’s not that the content is untrue . . . I don’t know . . . they remind me of people I’ve met who know so much more than I do and kindly put me right and point out where I’m wrong, and I feel myself just fading out and wanting to go play in the sunshine.
That thing I tried in Lent – fasting from opinions – and failed at so spectacularly. I think it’s something to do with that. I feel battered by opinions. Even my own.
I think I’ll give those books away.