Iris Johanson. Well, that was a new writer. Sounded promising. I pulled her book off the shelf, nestled her into the crook of my arm, went back to searching. Carly Phillips. Great. She'll go home with me too. And Joshua Ferris. What a great cover. You can come too.
I carried them around, scanning the library shelves, making sure no one else should be invited to my home for the weekend, and hurried to checkout. I had three books and less than two days, should tide me over.
I went home, sat in my favorite spot, couch cushions arranged perfectly to support all my extremities, creaked open JoHanson, and shut off the world. That was the entire purpose anyway, to shut everything out. I didn't answer my phone, didn't check my email, I just vegged. I sat in a still almost comatose type state, turned everything off including my ability for complex thought, and sucked on my pacifier.
Life, for the moment, had overloaded my circuits. I needed down time. I needed quiet. But mostly, I just needed nothingness. I wanted to escape to another world, to follow the rabbit down the hole, to ignore everything resembling reality.
And books always take me there.
I often wondered what propelled Alice into Wonderland. She was too young to fret, too pretty for masochism, too innocent for brassy life. She couldn't possibly be dealing with failure issues and family trouble. I don't remember any mention of a broken heart or fractured finances. And blonds really do have more fun, so what could have been the issue?
Maybe it was something less pointed, less purposeful, more benign. Maybe she simply needed to stop. She needed to stop trying to figure things out. She needed to stop fretting over life. She needed to stop all the noise, the doubts, the misgivings, the questions, the frustrations, the impatience, the seeking, the striving, the work of basically living. She just needed to stop.
This isn't my first escape from reality. I take them often, actually. I've learned, with me, it's up there in importance, next to eating and applying chapstick. I just have to stop.
I over think things. I over analyze. I try to "figure out" everything. I'd move to the ocean and study the tides if I thought it'd give me anything other than frizzy hair. Basically, I exhaust myself.
And here's the lesson I keep relearning and relearning. And....relearning.
Life doesn't require answers, only acceptance. God didn't tell us we'd always be in the know. In fact, He basically said the opposite. And because of this, He recommended a spicy little ingredient to add those ambiguous times: Faith.
We don't have to create it, buy it, mix it, make it. We just accept it. Just accept.
And the next time we trip into a rabbit hole to Wonderland, maybe we'll enjoy the ride.