Thursday, 10 December 2009

For love of a great escape

"But words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling like dew, upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think."
- Lord Byron
That Lord Byron was on to something. I'm a bit embarrassed to say that I don't know him as well as I'd like to. The only reason I'm speaking about him now, is because a friend quoted him earlier this week, and I was fascinated. I've spent the better part of my free time since, reading up on his work, and recognizing fragments of what I've heard quoted by others. In university, I did everything in my power to avoid entire courses dedicated to single poets and authors... I think I regret that now, because the more I read up on Lord Byron, the more I enjoy him.

My mum was the first person to introduce me to William Wordsworth, as a child. She taught me "Daffodils," a beautiful poem by him, that I memorized and recited whenever given the chance.

There's something to be said about the classics. Words, novels, poems, quotes... all written before radio, before TV, before... Facebook. These people only had the world around them (the real world), conversations and true social experiences to draw inspiration from. Absolute brilliance.

Which is why, when I need to escape from my everyday reality, I can't help but turn to a book. Sometimes a movie works as well, but it's easier to get distracted from a movie than it is from a good book.

Take for instance, last night: I was unable to turn my mind off, with a thousand and one thoughts swirling through my brain at a mile a second. I tried watching TV, to no avail... something about the seizure inducing commercials made me quit. Then, I tried watching a movie... but only owning movies that I've watched too many times to count, I found myself distracted once again.

As a last resort, I turned to Miss Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Over my life, I've read this book perhaps four times. Yet two and a half hours later, I was passed out in my bed, with the most content smile I've had in a few days. I don't even know where the time went, but it was so easy to lay there, flipping through page after page of an absolute masterpiece. These authors knew the importance of imagery... of descriptive words... of bringing emotions, personalities and moods on to paper. They knew how to create the perfect escape, free of reality's abundant distractions.

So this winter, I'm looking forward to curling up in bed with the classics. I'm looking forward to having my brain think of words that are longer than two syllables. But more than anything, I'm looking forward to my literary escape.


Image courtesy of Dreamstime Stock

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