I didn't think she meant it. I didn't think my mom was really irritated at my desire to be left alone with a book. She was, though. She thought this was the height of hostile, rejecting, anti-social behavior. She did not like it one bit.
But who would be irritated with a reader? There are a lot of things a person could interrupt in this house, and the interrupted person would simply have to put up with it - nicely, too! But reading? Huh-uh. Reading and movie-watching. "Don't bug me." It's very very very rude in this house to interrupt a reader or movie watcher.
I'm re-reading In This House of Brede. I've put one of these on hold at Powell's because they had it for a good price in this edition, which is the edition I got from the library last week. I'll pick up my own copy tomorrow. I'm a fully growed woman with fully growed kids, and it's the middle of the day on a Saturday, and I'm not showered and dressed. I've been reading. (Reading, and doing course work, and reading, and talking to friends, and reading and reading and reading, and placing a book on hold, and reading. Now I'm so good at the reading that interruptions don't pop my bubble.)
But now I wonder ... I've resurfaced for awhile - there's stuff I have to do today. And I recognize the air around me as my reading bubble. The atmosphere of the book encompasses me, and it will stay with me like this while I'm reading the book. Next up, all those difficult reads for my Literature of Resistance course - and I'm resisting starting them - it's not going to be a nice atmosphere to live in. This is what reading does for me, and this is what reading does to me, and this is why my mother resented it when I "read too much" as a kid. Reading puts me into another place entirely, and right now I only look like I'm here in this room, typing on this keyboard.
And here's the problem.
Writing does it to me too. Now that I've gotten almost as good at writing as I am at reading, whatever I'm writing is strong enough to make an atmosphere of its own. A weather pattern. A season. Temperature and precipitation and light and dark and wind and pressure.
And so I suspect that my resistance to the writing I love just might be a resistance to barometric pressure changes. When a writer goes inside, deep inside where the real writing is ... it's a long trip back, and it's never to where she started from.