I couldn't wait to climb back into the book. A book where I was able to really know the thoughts and feelings of the characters, their secret desires, their wants, their pettiness, their pain....and I realized why I quit. Because that is what I want, a world where we actually reveal ourselves to each other. A world where we share, where we open up and tell the truth about who we are to each other. Because in real life, we don't, not really. I may have a running narrative in MY head, but it isn't the same as your narrator, and we don't share that voice with one another. We just don't. And I quit reading because I know that about myself and about others, and it always becomes the thing that we don't talk about. Maybe at first, as we get to know somebody new, we ask about how they feel, what they think, what shaped them. But after a while, we don't.
Maybe it is because we get so wrapped up in our own lives that we forget to connect to each other. Maybe it is because we are so busy with our own pain and loss that we can't handle someone else's. I have always been able to "be" with people in pain, that is what made me a good nurse. I don't psychically run away, I am present and can hold that space. Good writers have the ability to reveal the soft vulnerable underbelly of a character. I watch their lives with fascination, unable to put down the book, and feeling a great sense of loss when the book ends. Because I almost believed in a world where people worked hard at trying to understand why, worked hard to build love, worked hard to heal and forgive. And I had to come back to this world, where we live with our own truths unspoken.