Saturday, August 18, 2018


Isaac Asimov had claustrophilia. No, I didn't spell that incorrectly. He did not have claustrophobia, a fear of enclosed spaces but claustrophilia, a love of enclosed spaces. 

Many avid readers suffer ... urm ... enjoy the same condition, including me. A popular feature on many book Facebook pages or websites is that of reading nooks. These are usually places about the size of a single width bed surrounded by books. The bed or couch area is covered in cushy comforters or pillows--a lush surrounding, a place to burrow in to feed our addiction to books. 

Why do so many of us who are readers feel this pull toward enclosed spaces? Could it have something to do with our personality? Perhaps avid readers tend to be more introverted and wish to escape the noise of the world.

Remember that Jane Eyre would hide in the window seat behind the thick curtain to read? Ever since I read of Jane Eyre, I've wanted just such a place to hide away.

This reading nook, from Pinterest, is perfect.

Is claustrophilia  and the desire to be surrounded by books perhaps a desire to retreat into the womb where all was warm and safe? Where we were once comforted by the steady beat of our mother's heartbeat? And where we are now comforted by the steady rhythm of the flow of words through us?

Asimov enjoyed confined spaces and liked to work in windowless rooms. Here are his words: When I sit down at the typewriter, I write. Someone once asked me if I had a fixed routine before I start, like setting up exercises, sharpening pencils, or having a drink of orange juice. I said, "No, the only thing I do before I start writing is to make sure that I'm close enough to the typewriter to reach the keys."

I write for the same reason I breathe - because if I didn't, I would die.

If the doctor told me I had six minutes to live, I'd type a little faster.
Nothing interferes with my concentration. 

A cozy space, a cup of coffee, and a book, either one we are reading or one we are writing ... is there anything better for us claustrophilia sufferers? Pull the curtains shut on your way out!

Friday, February 23, 2018

While I Gently Weep

The first anniversary of my mother's death will be next Friday. We're packing and moving, and I'm weeping. 

It's difficult to understand my tears. Of course, I know much of the sadness is from losing my mother and brother last year, around this time. But there's more that is difficult to articulate. The busy-ness of our lives often keeps us from truly contemplating what lies ahead.

Each breath we take, each step we take brings us closer to death. Death might take us unaware. Death might be long awaited. Yet it always hovers before us, tainting our dreams. 

Today I finished a study of 2 Timothy. This is Paul's last letter before he died, beheaded according to Eusebius, an early church historian.  

Paul says: For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. ~ 2 Timothy 4:6-8

I tremble to think, not of the death that awaits me, but at the race I still have left to run, the good fight I must still fight. None of us is perfect, and we should be continuously learning, stretching toward the finish line, reaching forward to fully grasp righteousness. No, we will never fully attain that upon this earth, but it's something we must strive toward, even when we're weary.

Paul goes on to say, But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. ~ verse 17

Here on earth we weep. But the Lord stands by our side and strengthens us. Later, on the day our race is finished, our tears will be wiped away forever. 


(Image from Pixabay)