SOL2015 March 2 -Reading In The Waiting Room
I had a doctor’s appointment today. I have developed my own personal plan for visiting the doctor. I always take my own book to read. The selection of magazines in medical waiting rooms has little appeal to this pernickety reader. Annie Dillard’s words resonate in my head each time I enter the waiting zone- ‘Be careful what you read, for that is what you’ll write.’ With those critical words ringing in my ears, I avoid the trash mags, Field and Gun, 50 Ways With Avocado, Health Warning magazines, and those dog eared out of date travel magazines. When my doctor greets me, the question often gets asked, ‘What are you reading?’ and the conversation between two readers flows naturally from that point.
People in a waiting room often sit in what the late Warren Zevon referred to as, ‘splendid isolation.’ We are seemingly like silos, content to sit in silence until we hear our name called. I am part of that silent majority. Book in hand, I quietly took a seat.
As I sat reading my pre-selected book, -a well marked copy of Ralph Fletcher’s ‘Breathing In, Breathing Out –Keeping A Writer’s Notebook, I realized how often I return to this special little book. It is all the more special to me, given that Ralph indulged me with a signature when we met up in
last July. I reference
this book frequently when introducing
teachers and students to the idea of writer’s notebooks. It’s a favourite. It’s
a gold mine. Darwin
At one point in the book Ralph has documented odds and ends- entries that defy description. One of his entries states,
‘In the 50’s if you saw a car with one headlight missing you reached over and kissed your girlfriend.’
As I read this, I suddenly recalled my final year of high school. A classmate of mine, U.S exchange student, Janet Gale, informed me one evening as we drove through
, ‘If you see a car
with one headlight, you have to say ‘fididdly’
and kiss the nearest girl,’ Sherbrooke
And then, just as I was beginning to ruminate on this dredged up memory, so splendidly sparked by Ralph Fletcher’s words, the doctor called my name and my reading and reminiscing came to a sudden halt.
But fididdly had re-emerged in my conscious mind and that’s why you’re reading about it now. If you carry a book with you, random magic can happen.