Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Dark Tower...reading as a journey.

When we read we take a journey. We ramble through pages and pages trying to accomplish something. Maybe it's simply to say that we finished a book but I think, at a deeper level, maybe one we're unaware of, we're searching for something.
We read the Scriptures so they will show us something, or because we want to show others how committed we are to God, or maybe...maybe we want to show ourselves. We read comics because we want to laugh, we want to find joy. The best comic strip I ever read was Calvin & Hobbes, which my mother introduced me too. It was full of such sheer joy that I could just look, even now, at a drawing, without reading the words and be amazed for long stretches of time.
We read romance, fantasy, dark poetry or biographies because, and this may be a stretch, but maybe because we want those things in our lives. We want that adventure, we want that honey sounding couplet to bounce off our smooth tongue. The romance with the twists and turns, how exciting! Because real life, as if often the case, doesn't measure up to the books, to the movies, or even the soundtrack.
I don't know for sure but I suspect it's not so much that we search for an outlet from the doldrums of life as the reason we read, or watch movies or listen to music. But I tend to see our escapades in reading, in listening to music, in watching good plays as practice for the life that is to come. A shadow, if you will. Yes, yes this has all been covered before, especially by C.S. Lewis among others but I can't help but think he's right.
In the book series I am currently in, The Dark Tower by Stephen King, the main character, Roland, the Gunslinger, is on a quest. But his quest in getting to his final destination, he finds, is full of meaning and fulfillment that he did not see coming, it's also filled with hardship but that's another post. I wonder if we examine ourselves and find our lives the same way, if we look at it right. After all, if someone else read a book of your life, wouldn't they see many things along the way as good and exciting or redemption worthy? Even if you didn't? Yes, we write our own story, in a general sense, but get a second set of eyes on it, get a fresh set of ears and you may see something you have been searching for and found, and you didn't even know it.

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