jusummerhayes

Solitude

"Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life."
Fernando Pessoa

Good morning.

I was awake at 5 am — Alfie made sure to that by jumping on the bed and sticking his wet nose in my face; oh god, I love that dog.

Of course, working from home now, I don't need to get up at this ungodly hour but I cherish the solace and space and am not about to change my daily routine for the sake of another hour or so in bed.

I've not yet checked Twitter or read the news. I'm sure I will at some point but, as I wrote about yesterday, and the day before, I need to wean myself off of the amount of news and/or information Covid-19 related that I'm ingesting — it's not good for my delicate, quiet soul. 

Right now, all I can do is all I can do, which means staying isolated so far as possible, avoiding any unnecessary contact, washing my hands and keeping to some sort of daily regime. 

Of course, this form of self-isolation is deeply troubling to a lot of people. They love socialising and being around people more generally. As miserable as it sounds, I'm not that fussed. In fact, as the above quote suggests, with the number of books I've now acquired, I'd be quite happy to spend the rest of my days reading and writing; I'd never get bored. And that's not because I want to live in fantasy land as opposed to real-world, but it's more a case of finding solace and love in the words. In case it wasn't already obvious, despite some of the superstar authors that adorn my shelves, there's still a human being on the end of said words, story or narrative. That's not completely accurate because, no doubt, the book has been through countless edits but I love the fact that a real, once-living or still alive person wrote what I'm reading. I always try to put myself in their shoes and understand as best I can what inspired them to write the words and what they actually mean beyond their prima facie interpretation. Perhaps that's why I have this wonderful etymology book on my desk. Yes, I like discovering new words but I'm much more interested in the history of words. In this vein, that's why I'm such a champion of Steven Jenkinson's writing because that's his leaping off point in almost everything he writes about. And it's so enriching, so life-affirming.

What about you?

Does reading float your boat? 

What genre?

Today will be a mixed bag of legal work, meeting up with a colleague to collect the rest of my office stuff that I wasn't able to gather up last Friday (including my Aeropress coffee maker) and going for a run. I'm staying away from the gym at the moment. Running isn't my first love but I'm hoping to build up the miles and perhaps later in the year do a few races, including a few off-road races that happen close to my house.

Anyhow, stay safe.

Much love ❤️, Ju.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

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