I don’t know about you, but I can easily lose myself in a book. When I’m reading I enter another world created for me by the author. And I tend to lose track of my surroundings in the process – sorry, did you speak? My main regret is that there are so many books I want to read but, sadly, lack enough concentration, energy or time to do so.
Reading books can be a way of escaping reality and enhancing it too
A recent birthday gift was a beautiful book – ‘Norfolk Loving it!’ by John Duckett – which is the third in a series of fine art photographic records that capture the essential atmospheric, surprisingly colourful beauty of that landscape. It has a selection of panoramic images of Norfolk that perfectly depicts its wide open vistas, superb coastline, seascapes and breathtaking glory through the changing seasons.
“Worthy books are not companions..they are solitudes: We lose ourselves in them and all our cares’ ~ Philip James Barclay
In my earlier adult years, before M.E. and other limiting illnesses took such a hold on my life, I used to enjoy walking on those same beaches, having a paddle and brief swim in the waters, marvelling at the wildlife and wild flowers en-route, eating fish and chips out of the paper – with their flavour enhanced by the salty air – playing games with the children, sunbathing and generally relaxing, letting go of life’s care.
Nowadays, the walk to reach the beach from the car park alone is beyond me and activity is very limited. I miss not being able to do what I used to do freely before – and largely took for granted.
But I can experience it all afresh through the eyes of imagination and memory
“Some books leave us free and some books make us free” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Being free means different things to different people.
One person’s freedom can be another person’s prison
In a sense we are all in need of being freed and released, as Jesus came ‘To proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners’ ~ Isaiah 61:1
We may feel free yet still be chained by our circumstances, prisoners of toxic relationships or bad decisions, and thus remain captive to issues such as bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness.
I am finding freedom in the midst of limiting circumstances as I learn to surrender myself and my wants and desires to the greater purpose of knowing God and His ways and plans for my life.
I am finding freedom primarily in reading God’s word and applying its truths to my life, enjoying books in general, expressing myself with poetry and prose, as well as finding release in a host of other things which give my life meaning and purpose.
How about you? What helps or hinders your ability to experience freedom?
The poem that follows was inspired by the book mentioned above (especially its cover photo) and also the bag it came in that proclaimed ‘Big Blue Sky’ – most likely the name of the shop it was purchased from, I guess, or an attempt to pique my interest anyway!