Monday, January 27, 2020

Immersed and Transported

Monday, January 27, 2020

After that long run last Saturday I decided to stay at home and take it easy the rest of the weekend. Taking it easy meant binge-watching shows on Netflix. I went over my to-watch list and chose Haider, a 2014 Indian movie that is supposed to be an adaptation of Hamlet. After 20 minutes of watching the film I felt distracted. I was unmoved by what’s happening on screen. I went back to my listPandemic, The 43, Atlantics, Virunga, The Game Changers—but nothing appealed to me. Is it me or are those shows really that boring? Is my mind too jittery that I cannot fully concentrate on what I’m watching? I gave up and started reading instead. Before I knew it, hours had passed and I’ve reached the last page of Esme Weijun Wang’s compilation of essays, The Collected Schizophrenias. So I began another book: American Dirt, today’s most talked about novel that almost everyone hates.

I am now 42 years, with no responsibilities and nothing else to distract me from my life of solitude, and I’ve retained the deeply engaged, obsessive reading of my childhood, those long, trancelike reading bouts that are more satisfying than watching movies of mindlessly scrolling through social media. With books I am transported; I am immersed, body and soul.


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