Swaddled By the Words


I just purchased a replacement hammock for the cord-frayed, bird-pooped one that we inadvertently left out all winter, then put it up and positioned myself into it.

Most summers, I get into it once, twice.

But this summer is already different. I can barely keep myself away from it. It’s an improved model – less scratchy and set up higher – and even has a little pocket to keep my cell phone handy. It’s my go-to spot for reading and it has been keeping me there longer.

While I was in it the other day with my book – covered by a light blanket for the cool breeze – my periodic jiggling prompted the hammock to sway just a little and I was overcome with an incredible feeling of serenity. Of being swaddled and read to at the same time. It was a very pleasing thought which may have come out of a memory. A muscle memory? A wish?

It was a reminder that reading, so pleasureable in and of itself, can be made all the more delightful when you are comfortable. It was a reminder that there is a physicality to reading, just as there is to writing. Where we are sitting, and on what, and how we are holding the book, the pages or sleek metal rectangular devices, matters.

I urge you to find a great reading spot this summer, for your reading and your writing. Stimulation, escape, inspiration are likely to swing out from that, from your spot in the sun or under the trees or lounging on that chair, supporting you in your efforts, literary and otherwise.

Photo by Ellen Blum Barish. Copyright 2014.