Literature affects people in different ways. There is a reason I like light-hearted fare and uplifting works in general. Bear with me while I traipse down a familiar path.
I have noticed my literary fare of late has been morbid, laissez faire or tepid. After one book that made me want to cry while looking at tomato soup, I picked up some books with jolly titles : books with names such as ‘The Happiest People on Earth’, only to find that the happiest ones are probably the ones that did not pick up that book. Classics, good old classics should always set me back, I thought to myself as I picked up some classics to smooth things over – they turned out to be so depressing that I could not bear to even have sunny-side-up eggs for breakfast. It seemed like I was letting the author down by smiling or watching beautiful Spring unfold around me.
I usually spice things up a bit in my reading. One morbid, followed by two up-lifting. Then, one that hurts the brain followed by two that hurt the jaws while laughing. But really! Why is uplifting fare not given its due? This necessity to cry and make others cry is appalling. Schadenfreude is what it is. I have written about this with a certain whim before and shall do so again.
What then should I have done? Fallen back to my tried-and-tested pick-me-ups? But I did not want to do that just yet. There will always be misery, problems and what-not. Literature can and should teach us to take the rough with the smooth with grace. We need more authors who embrace the stout heart and the practical mind with a dose of humor. If any body has authors firmly placed in that league, please let me know.
With spring in the air, I thought I would be spending time sniffing the flowers and admiring the trees, but I got to tell you, this depressing reading has taken its toll. I haven’t exercised much, I have managed to fill my days up with a whole list of should-dos and have neglected my must-dos. (Incidentally, I read this piece about should-dos vs must-dos that I thought I must share with everybody)
“This busy-ness is a malady.”, I cried as my husband and daughter rolled their eyes once more. I ignored it with a master stroke and continued, “What with the invasion of cell-phones and laptops into every aspect of our lives, our social lives blend with e-social, blend with the professional, where does one’s silly-side-up shine? Where does one get to be the person who stops to smell the flowers? “
My son took the iPhone, picked out a picture of the flowers and sniffed it. I started laughing. That’s it folks, take the phone, smell the flowers and galvanize yourself to go out and embrace Spring. The sidewalk is filled with flowers if we stop to look and sniff.
Happy Spring while I go and read a wonderfully uplifting piece of work.