I’ve mentioned that I’m dealing with a bit-o-stress these days. I know I haven’t given specifics, and I don’t plan to now. But specifics don’t matter. Stress is something each adult human being understands. Sadly, some understand it all too well.


I’m doing what I can to counter my stress, because I care about my health. I’m trying to exercise. I’m trying to keep a balanced mental outlook. I’m trying to remember to eat actual food, and not just drink coffee. And, as I’ve written about recently, I’m trying to get some sleep.


The other night I was staring at the ceiling in the dark and finally realized there was no point. So I got up and tip-toed to another room (there are only 2 rooms in the hotel). I could have fired up the computer. I could have watched telly. But I didn’t do either of those things. Instead, I read. Faulkner. And you know what? Those lengthy, verbose sentences distracted my brain. My body relaxed. The only things I focused on were the painted scenes in my imagination. I could smell the morning fire in the old kitchen. I heard the dogs baying beneath the porch. I felt the rain as it dove over tree branches. I saw the blood strewn in the battle between beasts. I ached at the loss of a dear companion.


On that night, I was saved by Faulkner. And it was good. I’m still not finished with the story, so there’s a bit more comfort to be found in those pages. After that, I don’t know what I’ll pick up to read. Or if I’ll pick up anything at all.


I hope I do, though. Reading is such a gift. And lately, in my case, it’s also a calming balm for an unsettled mind.

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