The Taste of Morning

The cover from Donna Tartt's novel, "The Goldfinch"

I had a revelation this morning. I think.

Walking to my coffee shop, I was listening to Donna Tartt’s novel, The Goldfinch. The audio recording is 32 hours, 29 minutes long! My book-a-week average has gone out the window thanks to this 976-page novel. That being said, I am enjoying the read. The voice actor performing the book does an admirable job.

I often wonder how actors narrating books remember the multiple characters’ nuances. I suspect if I were performing, most of the female characters would sound like Dan Aykroyd imitating Julia Child on Saturday Night Live.

Anyhow, back to the revelation.

It was a chilly, clear morning as I walked, listening to my novel. I was feeling good. I’m so pleased I no longer dread weekends. I used to, especially in the first months after moving out of my home.

Friday night was fun, last minute invitation to dinner with Jack, his wife and their neighbor, and friend, Carol. The evening was a throwback to my old life when I regularly frequented fancy restaurants, finishing the evening with nightcaps in historic Washington DC saloons.

Saturday was primarily rest and recovery after my Friday night escapades. The city was a mess of ice and sleet. My mobility limited, as described in My Ice Storm. After writing all morning, I slipped and slid home, made some roasted butternut squash soup, and attended to a variety of household responsibilities.

Sunday was quiet as well. Coffee. Writing, not much walking. Roasted a chicken on a bed of fennel, carrots, and onions. Did the crossword puzzle.

Saturday, I did not have a single drink. Sunday, I had one drink.

I am savoring the fact I didn’t feel the compunction to self-medicate. What a healthy evolution from months ago when I spent weekends numb.

On my walk to Open City this morning, I felt good. Really good. My walking has been hindered by back problems for the last week. Chronic, with occasional flare-ups, not terribly serious but extremely uncomfortable when it flares-up.

Today I felt better. Not great. But I felt good. At the same time, I reached a point in The Goldfinch when the protagonist, Theo Decker, finally had something good happen. After pages upon pages of suffering, Theo is finally in a good mood.

So the revelation is, or more a question, am I that empathetic my mood can be aleered by fictional characters whose lives with which I am intertwined?

When I was lost, I didn’t have the focus to read or listen to novels. That was then. As part of my journey, I’ve read voraciously for the last four or five months. I didn’t realize how much I missed immersing my self into other worlds, watching someone other than myself struggle with trials, tribulations, ultimately finding resolutions for better or worse.

Perhaps that’s the real revelation. I’m now in a place where I am no longer obsessed with my self 24-7. I’m happy for the vacation, truth be told.

Stay in touch. Connect.

P.S. The title of today’s post comes from Rumi, “Love is the soul’s light, the taste of morning, no me, no we, no claim of being”.

P.P.S. What a surprise. Said no one.

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