Feeding my mind
Updated: Jan 2, 2021
I have a confession. I have an addiction to books. My mind is always hungry for stimulation so check out what I'm chewing on lately.
Welcome to the rabbit hole that is my mind.
“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.” -James Baldwin
It all started with Reading Rainbow...
My way to find a peaceful space amid the chaos has always been to read. Growing up I struggled to find many books I really was interested in until I discovered poetry and I fell in love with words and how you can weave them together like a song to evoke deep imagery and emotion in such small spaces. As I got older and began to explore my writing talents more I challenged myself to read different genres and learn different styles of writing. How could I truly call myself a writer if I didn't have the versatile skills to code switch genres? So I read and read and read a lot. There's never enough time to read and those library fees were getting ridiculous so I decided to start building my own home library. It's growing ya'll I am in need of a new bookcase already but we won't talk about that right now. Let's get back to the books I am reading and why.
Isis Unveiled: Picked this one up a year ago and read a page here and there and for some reason I recently picked it back up to work on it. Not sure why I bought it but that happens often (book buying in the middle of the night-sleep shopping maybe) I'm fascinated lately with the real history of Black folks globally and hw our ancient spirituality has influenced modern religions and society as a whole. I feel like I'm meant to write about it but I don't know what I'm supposed to write yet. I have more books on these subjects and I'll share those as I make my way though them and the many others I'll buy.
Yoga and Kriya: I am always delighted to read this and anything by Osho. As I study on my path of spiritually I am discovering some deep connection and understanding of mystics like Osho and especially Jiddu Krishnamurti which led me to Sadhguru and Mooji (I so wish there were more women who were mystics and philosophers and gurus in the same spotlight as men but that's another thing I'll take care of as I grow into my self) I have been yearning to learn yoga but not like studio stretching kind of yoga like tantra and all the yogas. (Tantra btw is nothing like the freaky tantra we know it to be- it is so much deeper and more fulfilling than sexual experiences). I'd love someone to guide me but spirit said my path is one that hasn't been traveled before so I got be my own guide and follow where my soul is called. I am finally listening and following and this is where I am being led and this feels like home. This books gives some amazing details and steps and lessons. It may take my whole life but I'll work through it all!
Story: An oldie but a super goodie for any writer. It's mostly geared for screenplay writers but it's so perfect for writing novels and I picked it up again because I am writing a full length play right now and the perfectionist editor in me says research a little more to refresh your skills. Additional random writing favorite I go back to often, On Writing by Stephen King.
The Secret Oral Teaching in Tibetan Buddhist Sect: I heard about this a couple of times via lectures I was listening to on YouTube (my other secret pastime). I decided to buy it and also get a copy for my girlfriend to read with me since she's a practicing Nichiren Buddhist. It's way deeper than I though it would be- I almost wasn't ready but it's a good read for the moments I want to be in deep meditative thought.
Octavia's Brood: I am super blessed to have a job I love working as a Diversity Equity and Inclusion Analyst for a local insurance company. I'm on an amazing team and one of the things we all have in common is we love to read! Which is perfect as the job requires us to constantly be expanding our perspective and nurturing those in our company to grow as well. We have thought provoking guest speakers present regularly and it's often a writer so we get to read the accompanying book. Our December 2020 speaker was the brilliant Walidah Imarisha and we centered the conversation around her the afro-futuristic and visionary fiction of the book, Octavia's Brood. I love me some sci-fi and these stories get my mind juices flowing and glowing with "what if's". I was excited to write an internal blog post about how her presentation of visionary fiction connections to DEI work. Her presentation to our company btw- was get your life right good! Other mention from our speaker series, we had Darnell Moore earlier in the year talking about his book No Ashes in the Fire. OMG! The book and his presentation to us was CHURCH and gently powerful masculinity perfectly placed. Read that book!
Stamped: This little goodie was sent to me with a copy for my son so we can participate in a book club with the UW Madison Odyssey project I work with. The bookclub hasn't started yet but we've already started reading it together. My son was the reason I started the bookclub, We Read Too a while ago and it was disappointing to have that fall off. Reading isn't cool and it's hard to make it stick or find priority here over sports and whatever else for families. At any rate I never stopped trying to find ways to keep my son interested and engaged in reading. Joining in on this bookclub is my latest attempt. To my surprise he actually likes the book. I am having him read it to me out loud at times as we analyze what we read in our own words/voice and make our own connections to our life experiences. Slow process but it's getting him to talk and think and I'm loving listening to him find his confidence in his reading out loud voice and learn his opinion on things deep issues about race and politics and life as a whole.
So that's what this writer is reading for now. I am usually reading multiple books at once and usually buying multiple books before I finish the ones I have. One day my library is gonna be massive and I am going to sing in that place like the Black Belle. Til then, I'm gonna go read.