Strolling through Brisbane’s beautifully eclectic Woolloongabba Antique Centre this past Christmas, I spotted a postcard in the TAKE ME, I’M FREE stand at the edge of the 1950s-style café.
Aside from my two zines I published, I hadn’t had a particularly writing-focused 2016 so I had hoped this card would give me the prompt or perhaps the elusive inspiration I needed. So, eleven days into the new year I find myself writing this post, as a break from my writing my third zine!
I’ve previously written a post about my favourite books. Literary classics such as To Kill a Mockingbird and the childhood-shaping collection of Roald Dahl’s works made the list. But in considering the book that changed my life, I can’t go past The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. My original copy is one of my most treasured possessions.
In recalling our childhood memories, for reasons I believe are beyond our understanding (armchair/real psychologists, take a seat), there are some that are recalled with greater clarity and purpose than others. My childhood memory of discovering my life-changing book punches through so many of the others, but finding the word/s to describe the feeling of that discovery… I’m lost.
I want to know the name of the feeling I have when I recall my seven-year-old-self sprinting back to class from lunch for quiet reading; and then… The feeling of carefully dissecting C. S. Lewis’s masterpiece from my special hiding place on the bookshelf, unseen from the eyes of other kids; the feeling of flopping onto the cushions, trying to read as much as I could in the allotted post-lunch calm-down; the feeling of magic and adventure and friendship shared with Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter. And I want to know the name of the sensation when I engorged my face into its pages, craving its old book smell.
While I can’t pinpoint the right words to describe those feelings and sensations (maybe I could with a little effort and research), its without hesitation I can pinpoint the exact time in my life when I knew that I loved reading (and writing). But not just as a kid, I knew that I would love reading for the rest of my life.
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