While making dinner on Sunday, I caught the tail end of the show Tapestry on CBC radio. In it, illustrator Maira Kalman was speaking about having “enough.” Not angrily, as in: “I’ve had enough.” But calmly, as in: “I have enough.” Not the ache of wanting, but the satisfaction of having what you need.
Just listening to the concept made me feel lighter. How freeing it would be to not always strive for more, but to be settled where you are!
I’ve thought of this often in my seemingly insatiable quest for stories. With the ease of Netflix and iTunes, my family and I watch so many movies and so many TV shows (though still relatively few compared to other people; a maximum one of either a day) that it’s hard to find new ones that appeal. It’s actually nice living in a small town with one small theatre that plays one movie a week—and sometimes not even that. At least when it comes to new releases, we’re forced to slow down.
And then there are books. Once upon a time, I was happy to finish a book, pause, consider what might come next: revisit an old book off a shelf, visit the library, wait for a trip to a bookstore. These days, I immediately dive into my always-healthy stack of to-reads. The library merits only an occasional visit, and old favourites sit and wait.
But why do I need new, new, new? Why do I need to go, go, go? I think it’s time to embrace slow reading—and find satisfaction even when I’m not in possession of the latest and greatest.
The challenge will be to resist the pull of advertising and marketing: the bookstore tweets, the media and blog reviews. The forces that make me want.
It will be satisfying to feel I’ve already got enough—but believe me, it’ll be hard.