Guess what they're doing in England?
Guardian newspaper (Saturday July 22):
"According to reports this week, doctors in west Yorkshire are to begin prescribing books instead of medications to patients suffering from depression, stress and anxiety. The patients will be referred to a bibliotherapist -- yes, bibliotherapist -- who will give patients reading lists suited to their conditions."
"Half a million pounds has been allocated for this pilot scheme, whose inspiration is the observation by librarians that borrowers are apt to say on returning books (and I quote): "This book really cheered me up," and "I enjoyed this book because it was about somebody more miserable than me", profundity here vying with charity as the evidential basis for a medical advance."
Dunno how well it'll work, but it is nonetheless cool.
Had a nice evening yesterday; after I talked to you guys I practiced and exercised (almost too much virtue at one go), and then called Kev. Talked for a couple of hours. Miss him like crazy, but at least one of the virtues of the long distance thing is that we get into these long phone conversations sometimes. Five hours is not unusual, and it's gone up to nine. And they usually take place at night, so while I'm exhausted the next day, they do have the character somehow of the kind of all-night conversation I used to have in college (especially in bed). A mix of love and philosophy and politics and ethics...somehow when we're living in the same place there's a lot more of "What do you want to do for dinner?" "I dunno -- what do you want?" kind of stuff. Companionable and not to be under-rated, but still... :-)
Got to do some chores this morning -- I defrosted the fridge last night, and now there's a big puddle of water to mop up and a fridge to clean while I'm at it. The plants could use some trimming too, and there are always dishes to be done. After I get those done, I think I'm going to go to Barnes & Noble. Got a gift certificate to spend :-) and work to do. Going to have to either walk or catch a cab; no public transport on Pioneer Day, apparently. Sheesh... I could understand running a Saturday schedule, but not at all? Don't they want people to be able to get to the dang parades?
Oh, I finally got around to joining the Erotica Readers Association mailing list. We'll see how that goes. I quickly requested a switch to digest form; it's high-volume!
Hmm...I think that's about it -- haven't had my tea yet. Brain still half asleep. Talk to y'all later...
10:00. Read Shmuel's latest entry. A college apartment in walking distance of a kosher pizza shop? I think that knocks out the Univ. of Chicago, which is in Hyde Park which I'm pretty sure does not have such a thing. Although I guess you could live on the North Side, but public transit down to the the U is not what it could be. I think this criterion may knock out quite a few really good schools. You may be stuck in New York after all, Shmuel...
In other news, my fridge is clean! Woohoo! :-) I assume it's okay to put frozen foods back in the freezer before it builds up an ice layer? Hmm...maybe it's not. Maybe they'll have ice form around them, and I'll forever have peas stuck to the bottom of my freezer. I better go move them down to the fridge for a little while.
The plants are trimmed too, but the dishes are still intimidating me. I think I'll avoid them some more...
9:00 p.m. Hey, guys. I've discovered something odd -- I'm having real trouble sitting still while reading through a book. It's even a very good book -- I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, which has just been reissued after a long time languishing and it's absolutely delightful. Highly recommended. I'm not sure whether to call it young adult or not -- the protagonist is 18, but sometimes younger and sometimes older. Oh, just read it.
But the odd thing is that I keep wanting to put it down. And do something. Anything. Have I gotten to be such a workaholic that I can't just sit still and read a book? That's a problem, if so. Working is good, but leisure is also good. And peace and stillness are probably very good.
I'm not really complaining; it's just kind of odd.
I was actually thinking earlier that in a lot of ways I'm appallingly happy. Really little things, like buying a tall square-cut vase to replace the one that broke a few days ago, and a dozen Gerbera daisies (I thought of you, Karen) which looked even better when I got them in than I had anticipated -- bright yellow and orange and deep red. Deciding to spend a few extra bucks and eat sushi for dinner. Lying in my bed in a white cotton nightgown with a breeze blowing across my face and an excellent book in my hands. Practicing this morning and enjoying it. Having a clean living room, and a sunroom full of plants. Buying two small picture frames and finally hanging up two photos of my middle sister dancing. Finishing two more chapters of the damned driving workbook. Working more on the incorporation, finally. Eating strawberries with a little sweetened condensed milk for dessert.
I don't know that I can explain it. I think what was so very satisfying about it was the mix of work and beauty and fun and tastiness and discipline...not too much of any one thing. A fine balance.
I think being alone is making me more aware of exactly how I can choose to live my life, in every small aspect. I can decide whether or not I will do sit-ups today. I can decide whether or not to sleep an extra half hour. It's a good consciousness, without other people's demands on me to distract me. I was pretty sure that with Kevin gone, this being mostly alone for a while would be good for me. So I will try to take advantage of it, and learn something from it. We'll see how successful I am.
I do, of course, still miss him something fierce. And I'm certainly lonely. I'm spending a ridiculous amount of time on the phone. I don't think I've ever really been alone like this in my life. (I know I don't sound alone -- I hang out with Paul and Marcia, I go to writer's group, I go to rehearsal -- but none of these people are close friends. Not yet.) Maybe it was like this for a few weeks at the beginning of college -- but before the end of the first week, I had started dating Dean. Hmm....interesting.
I might never have sought this out on my own; but perhaps it's good that it's been thrust upon me. I'm a little proud of myself for not giving it all up and fleeing to Chicago with Kev...or even back to the Bay Area, which is chock full of people I love. It does certainly help to know that I chose this.
(And yet, I'd rather have a person than a teddy bear in my bed tonight. Ah well...)