Thursday, May 24, 2007

Saving My Sanity

Ah, Death has blue eyes and rides a horse named Binky. How I love Terry Pratchett.

I have always read a lot and, over time, at least 20% of my reading would be non-fiction. After 9/11 it shifted. About 95% was non-fiction; 80% politics. I think I thought that if I read everything I could and learned as much as I could, everyone else would know what I knew and we could pull this country out of the cess pool I saw us sinking into. And then the 2004 elections came, and we didn't. I went into a major depression. In mid-November, I picked up a political book I had been looking forward to reading and couldn't get into it. Picked it up, put it down. Felt like death warmed over. Wanted to cry.

Before I went to bed that night, I checked my e-mail and there was a message from Kate, sending me a very funny Broomhilda comic. I laughed until the tears ran down my face. It felt so good. I hadn't been sleeping well, but that night I did. And realized that what I needed to do was laugh. There was no way what I did was going to save the world in the short run, and I needed to save my sanity if I was going to be of any use to the world in the long run. So I promised myself that I was going to read nothing but funny stuff until the end of the year or of my collection of funny stuff, which ever came later, and pulled out my Terry Pratchett books. Read the entire shelf. Laughed a lot. Slept better. Finished them before the end of the year because I'm a fast reader, and went on to Thurber and Twain and Peanuts and Pogo and Calvin & Hobbes and Rose is Rose and . . . Saved my sanity. If you haven't read Pratchett, you should give it a shot. Because in his books, Death rides a horse named Binky and has blue eyes and an adopted human granddaughter who filled in for him while he was on vacation, which explains why once, for two weeks, Death was a 16 year old girl named Susan.


Rain said...

I am in total agreement with that. I have a collection of DVDs just for that purpose. In my case ones like the Ice Age ones, Shreks, Madagascar and sometimes that's just what I want at night. They don't make me laugh til I cry but they are always relaxing and fun. They make me feel good. Same with a lot of the old movies like Friendly Persuasion and I recently rediscovered the Crocodile Dundee movies.

Judy in Houston said...

You introduced me to Terry Pratchett a few years ago and I immediately became a huge fan. I just finished listening to an unabridged audio version of "Wintersmith" - the latest episode in the Tiffany Aching series. Crivens! That was a good book! :-)