Bedtime reading is habitually a diary or journal – the favourites being those of May Sarton. She found literary fame in her final years, principally through the journals, which then led people to go back to her novels and poems. I’ve mentioned before how it feels like communing with an old friend, though there is always the caveat that any writer rarely exposes themselves warts and all. However, she seems to do a very good job. I read through the journals in sequence, following them with a biography, so by the end of that (it takes about 2 years!) I am in need of a change. Doris Grumbach was a Maine writer at about the same time, so I go on and read a couple of hers.

A creature of habit indeed, and of course it helps to ensure a decent night’s sleep – unless one of them is sharing a sad story – there are a few of those in amongst the nature watch, routines of Maine life throughout the year, visitors, talks, reviews and illnesses.

But all is not well at bedtime these days. I find myself coming to the end of a day’s entry and I immediately want to write a comment. Online reading of blogs and articles has made me used to expressing an opinion, and I miss it with the printed word. Does anybody else have this trouble?

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7 Responses to Interaction

  1. Marcia Mayo says:

    How funny! I’m sure May would appreciate a comment or two, but getting them to her might be difficult. I wonder if the internet extends to the great beyond. I somehow think it might not be heaven if I can’t check my email.

  2. Lyn says:

    We have certainly become opinionized in the cyber-world, haven’t we? I don’t think that is a bad thing, but it has most certainly changed how we think and interact. I think it has changed my thinking in exactly what I write in my blog or facebook, as one is totally vulnerable in that space.

    I haven’t noticed wanting to comment while reading such a book, but I can see how that might happen. Now that you’ve mentioned, it probably will next time I read such a book!

    And as for being self-exposing …. I have written my memoires for my children and grandchildren. I did so in order that they might understand more about me, how I became who I am. In doing so, I decided it was something about which I had to be very genuine, so I tried to describe all the warts. Only a couple things that became too painful to even write about were left out. It is a very hard thing to do, being that honest.

  3. Years ago, I read Sarton. I think I must have discovered her because she was also a garden writer. I love garden essays, and I too have enjoyed some of Sarton’s stories, although some are off-putting as as you suggest. I know Carolyn Heilbron (a favorite when I was younger) was a bit critical of Sarton in one of her own books written towards the end of her life, which she took, I believe.

  4. Anne Gibert says:

    I read aloud to Jerry every night when we go to bed. We have been reading “Walking Home” by Lynn Schooler. It’s about a solo expedition he took in Alaska where he lives, as a sort of contemplation period to try to save a failing marriage. The marriage was not saved, but the trek made exciting reading. And, like you, I want to comment. I know someone who knows Lynn, (in Alaska everyone knows everyone) so perhaps someday I will be able to talk to him about the book.

  5. friko says:

    I blame blogging for all sorts of ills.
    Not only does it take far more of my time than is reasonable, it also makes me think more. As if I had the time for that!

    Last thing at night I usually read a short story, E.M. Forster is a current favourite.

    I know of neither Sarton nor Grumbach, have I really got to get into them too?
    Drat these clever bloggers and their suggestions.

  6. Tabor says:

    Is it leaving an opinion or just the need to be interactive now?

  7. freda says:

    Thanks for the interesting comments. It looks to me as if we all enjoy being able to express our opinions and join in with an ongoing discussion. I started my early memories a number of years ago but somehow they have got laid aside – must try to get back to them. You’re right, friko, blogging does take up a lot of time, but it is so challenging and rewarding as well. I like the sound of the Alaska walking journey – another book to add to the list.

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