|Photo by erin m|
Currently suffering from a bout of depression, I look up at Spencer and say, "Listen to this: 'Dear God,' she prayed, 'let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry . . . have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well dressed. Let me be sincere—be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost."
When I finished Spencer, who has also suffered from depression, breathed deeply, saying nothing. It had been said. We were glad in that moment to live any moment because at least that moment included life itself.
Other spiritual experience with literature include:
- Understanding happiness while reading the first lines of Anna Karenina: "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."
- Feeling the vast intricacies of nature, and the lonely fullness of my identity within nature while reading The Rings of Saturn. I may be an individual, and I may even be alone sometimes, but I exist within the far expanses of a beautiful eternity.
- Experiencing the palpable reality of sin and redemption in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
- Listening to the voice of Death as the narrator of The Book Thief.
- Reading the accounts of Elie Wiesel's Night and Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning, in comparison to each other as a study of suffering and either losing or finding God when there is no balm in Gilead.
- Listening to my husband stand up and recite the poem "I Don't Care".
- Reading "Rabbi Ben Ezra" by Robert Browning with my husband the night he proposed to me.