We all have some portions of our lives that are closeted, I think. As I am trying to erase the hard drive in an old computer before I turn it back to the university (removing all of my personal info since I am not so sure I trust that someone who is an hourly employee might take the care I will to eradicate the data thoroughly), the word "partition" appears in directions. I can elect to save partitions and eliminate others. Back to that closet thing, now. I do have some partitions, some things I keep hidden. Mostly, I do so because I am afraid that revealing some of it will hurt others inadvertently (and for my friends reading this, they will call me out if this is a rationalization, I hope). Let me see if I can give an example.
I dedicated my second book (NAKED READING) to my Dad. It was a simple line (To Dad from The Doc, an affectionate nickname he uses from time to time). My parents divorced before I was 5. It was NOT amicable and I know that I did not always see my father because we were being used. But I did not see him much. I regret that as does he. I love him dearly (and I also loved Larry, my stepdad, too. I think it is possible to love lots of fathers and father figures). So, I thought it would be a nice thing to do. I sent him a copy of the book.
A few days later I received an email from his wife letting me know that I had upset Dad because, while the dedication was lovely, the opening of the book talked about me growing up in a single parent household that did not have much money. The point I was making, BTW, was that my Mom took me to the library regularly as a kid, a fond memory I still have, to make sure I always had books to read. The email indicated that I had instead indicted Dad somehow. I cannot tell you how much I cried that day. I never did respond to the email and I have never mentioned it again to either Dad or his wife.
It's my life and I should be permitted to explore those scary dark closets that are still partitioned. I do that, but I do not post about them for the most part. Some of my family members read my blog, and I would never want to hurt one of them. So, I will keep some of the partitions, I guess, for now. I do write about them in the journal sporadically. I do talk about them with my better half and the resident of the back bedroom as well. But I also worry about those partitions from time to time. Should I erase them or share them or just keep reflecting?
And now, as they saw on MONTY PYTHON for something completely different. The other phrase was a gift yesterday from Donalyn Miller, aka THE BOOK WHISPERER. She did a webinar and kept asking what does reading look like "in the wild"? I sent her a text during the webinar telling her I was SO stealing that phrase. Boy, has it been resonating like crazy (and that is the ONLY good thing about this danged insomnia so far). READING IN THE WILD. Think about that. What does it look like when you read? Do you curl up with a book on the couch or in a chair? Do you read online or use the old-fashioned book thing or can you move between the two seamlessly. Do you annotate as you read, make notes, make noises, react with laughter and tears?
So much of the reading in the classroom does not look like READING IN THE WILD, I think, in places where books have been replaced by passages for test prep. Imagine losing all those WILD READERS. Thanks, Donalyn, for sending me such a gift. I will have more to say as I continue to ruminate.
And I promise, posts about books are coming. Finished one this morning and one at the doctor's office Friday. Just had to get these phrases down on "paper."