Reading is more than the piecing together of words on a page that have been written by an author. I believe that every word that has ever been spoken, every thought or feeling that has ever been expressed has been forever woven into a mystical tapestry. The first word ever spoken became an invisible thread that began the stitch that was sewn into the next and so on. An infinite collection of words that consist of our observations, thoughts and feelings which created who we are and who we will be.
We are truly one when we realize we touch every person that has ever taken a breath through his or her words, our words. This tapestry touches us every day in every word we hear and in every word we read. In turn every word we have spoken and every word we have written has become part of this collection. A tapestry of woven words that connect us all together.
When we read we are able to enter a place where we allow the tapestry in to wrap around our souls. A time in which we are immediately connected to one another through words. Words that enter within and collide with our memories and at times touching our dreams, desires and even our fears. Everything we read affects us in some way. Reading allows us to visit people, places and special moments in our past. Memories come rushing in and momentarily take over the words on the page. Words provide an anchor to drop so that we can stay for a moment to feel and remember. Sometimes the places we visit are so enchanting that we stay and bask in their warmth. It feels good to be there. Other times the times the places we are carried off to can be dark and we don’t want to stay and we wished we didn’t travel there. These are often memories that we crush and hide deep inside because they hurt too much to see, or feel. To me though it seems safer somehow to experience these things within the pages of a book. I think partly because we are not directly reading about our own lives and when we touch those places we are not alone, our characters are there. The hero, the heroine, the villain and the author themselves are within the pages of our books. Other people through their words let us see they have been to similar places and experienced similar situations. Their travels within are written in their words. When reading we can visit a memory good or bad along with another soul who has been to a similar place which can often open our eyes to realize we are seeing through theirs as well. Allowing other perspectives in and often this new view presents us with the opportunity to grow.
Whether you are reading a fiction novel or a nonfiction article in a magazine there is usually at least one word, a phrase, a paragraph that connects to a thought, a feeling, or a memory. These feelings wash over us in waves sometimes barely breaking our shores and others create tidal waves of emotion. Often we don’t even realize that we have been carried off because it is so natural to reflect, to compare to our own experience that the thoughts just float in and out as we breathe. Yet there are those passages that affect us so deeply that we are moved to laughter, tears, and even anger. Sometimes these emotions touch us in such a way that we are forever affected by the words we have just read.
I would like to encourage you to begin a journal of your own so you can record what you reflect upon. So the next time you are reading and you ask yourself “What did I feel, what place in time did I travel to while reading this sentence, passage, book or article etc.” Write down what you felt during that moment. Your answer maybe anywhere from a single emotion to a flood of words. Sometimes a single word or a simple sentence you have written in your journal can cause you to remember what you were reading that triggered these memories. Words such as; I felt warm, loved, enchanted by remembering something magical that happened to you, or hurt, angry, alone, frustrated when you felt you were in an impossible situation, or still lost in why did this thing happen to me; leaving you feeling confused. So many emotions come flooding in from our past when we read.
Sometimes you may travel back into time to places such as your grandmother’s kitchen on Thanksgiving Day and remember all of the wonderful smells and the laughter of family all around you and how good it felt to be there. Or to a memory you’d rather forget like the day when you were told that someone you loved died. These memories may bring you comfort or pain but in either case you may find you need to express how you are feeling. My father told me something I have carried with me all my life he said “If you have something on your mind and you’re having trouble sorting it out, write it down, put it all your feelings onto a piece of paper. So when you read it over you can often see things more clearly. It’s a way of counseling yourself.” I have always done this and it has helped me in so many times. Sometimes it’s just a process of getting it out, a kind of purging of something I don’t want to carry anymore. So next time you are carried off to a memory good or bad, stop reading for a while and write how you feel in your journal. When you begin you may have only one sentence to offer and that’s ok, but if you discover the words are there don’t stop let them become part of the Tapestry that connects us all together.
This Journal you create is yours and yours alone. It is up to you if you want to keep for your eyes only or share passages with others. Either way once your words are spoken or written they are immediately woven into the tapestry. Use your journal to help you keep your feelings and things you have learned within journeys of reading alive, once written you can always come back to visit and travel once again to the places you have been.
My wish for you is to not only read but experience words, to be able to feel them, to let them carry you off to new places and adventures. For you to be able to visit warm memories and to find peace and healing for those that are hard to remember. Most of all for you to learn you are a part of “The Tapestry of Life” and because of that you are never alone.