Describe the role of reading in your life.
Ha. This one's sort of a repeat, from when the journal jar asked me about books. See here and even here. Oh-- here, too.
I gotta say, reading has been important. From the RIF commercials when I was a kid, I learned that it was essential. Reading is fundamental. It facilitates so much. Like, my audience, for example. It allows for great writing to be processed and shared.
And not so great writing, too.
Reading for me has been spiritual practice. Not always, of course. Like when I read the paperback version of The Billion Dollar Hobo, for instance. But reading is transcendental. It takes you places-- at speeds unknown in the "real" world. You can transport yourself to another universe by reading. You can travel back (or forth) in time. Reading is learning, is stretching of the intellect.
As opposed to drinking, which can transport you to another reality, yes, but at the cost of a severe headache and hangover.
That's why writing is so important. Writing what is on your mind and really feeling it, really getting down with what you're thinking and what you feel can be so important. Communicating with others, now and in the future, your writing can do that. Writing something down puts it out there for the potential of another's experience. Be they sibling, spouse, or space-alien.
Recently, I took a walk back in time by digging out one of my old journals and reading through it. Nearly twenty years had passed since I had cracked the binding on this particular journal. I ended up reading the entire thing in a couple hours. But even more interesting-- when I dug out the journal, I found a letter that I had written to one of my friends. It had to be about 15 years old. I had written it and sealed it up, not knowing if it would ever be delivered to him or not. I had lost touch with him and didn't know if I'd ever reconnect with him. Just recently, we re-established contact, and he visited the area and we met for drinks and caught up. So when I found the letter, I was excited to share it with him. I sent it to him with a note about how I didn't even know what I had written, but how it had come about and about how old the letter was. I told him that I would love to hear from him about what I said, after he received and read the letter.
Of course, I haven't heard anything. But it's only been a couple weeks. Just another reason for him to get back in touch with me, right?
Reading can heal you, can make you a better person. It is powerfully transformative. Use it with respect. As one does with writing, as well.