My father gave me chess and unlocked the door to reading. My mother and father opened the wondrous world of books and classical music for me. I loved certain pieces of classical music so much, my request to have them playing on the record player so I could listen as I went to sleep was rarely, if ever, denied. These beautiful places of sanctuary have always welcomed me, no matter the moment my life.
It is true that life can wallop any of us so hard the pain puts us out of action, for a time. Time, for me, in which I can’t always find my way back to books, chess, music. However, it is never lost on me that they’re there, waiting. They never abandon me.
All of us deserve a sanctuary in life, more than one if we’re lucky.
I find sanctuary on the page, a place to come to, go to, a place that as long as I am breathing is always there. It is a place where I can read the words of others and a place where words from my pen can spill out and try to find their way. My words may not dazzle or be of any particular value to anyone but me, but they are mine, and, over the years, we have become good friends.
Words are living things, individuals all. They have expression and scent and color and tone; they come in all different shapes and sizes. They are, for me, great company. I don’t know how I could go through life or if I’d even want to go through life without books.
I could no more survive the absence of books than I could the absence of air.
Last night, an unexpected and brutally painful event wounded my heart and soul. It reminded me how blessed I am to have the sanctuary of writing. As for specifics of the event itself, let me just say that you can love some in life with all your might and their demons will still lead them to cut your throat.
Writing is not easy, at least not for me. I find few things more intimidating than an empty page that expects me (of all people!) to fill it with something. Yet, once the story begins, the characters are there. You get to know them and they get to know you. In a very real way you become deeply close to each other. I even grow close to the characters I don’t like. Usually I don’t like them because they are laced with cruelty and greed and
their siblings, none of whom have never impressed me. But I like my characters – all of them – because I grow to know the all of them.
When life wounds my heart and soul, it is comforting to know I have the sanctuary of writing to return to, my characters to hang out with. I hope you, my dear reader, have sanctuaries in your life too. We all deserve them. ___________________________________________________________________