"The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible." -Vladimir Nobokov

Friday, October 10, 2014

Letter to October #10

Dear October,
      I'm sorry I've been so silent lately. I'm sure you don't want to hear excuses, but this was midterms week, and you weren't the only thing I had to neglect in favor of studying. Luckily today I turned in my last assignment, and I'm officially off for the next four days! Fall break is always a little depressing because so many of my friends live near enough to go home, while I'm still stuck a couple thousand miles away. Still, I'm going to have company this time in the form of my roommate, which is certainly a nice change.
I spent most of my evening doing the things I haven't had time to do all week. It was a night partly inspired by an author interview in the back of one of the books on my shelf (why yes, I am one of those people who skips to the back of books I haven't read).* The question she was asked was "What is your idea of fun?" and she answered, remarkably, with a description of what she and her family like to call Abbey Nights. (No, not Downton Abbey. That's where my mind went, too.) Basically they turn off all unessential power in their house - lights, TV, computers, phones - and spend the night doing "nineteenth-century activities": reading, talking, and playing music. "Suddenly," she says, "the night is so long, and we feel so much more connected and grounded, away from all the noisy screens we're so addicted to." And so, I spent my evening reading and writing letters, drinking apple cider, and letting the stress of this week melt away with each scribbled word and each soft rustling of a page. I couldn't do an all out "Abbey Night" namely because we aren't allowed to have candles in our dorm room, and because I am sitting here, typing this letter to you, but it was close enough to remind me just how slowly time passes when you're not mindlessly clicking between tabs. Over the next couple of days I plan to disconnect from the internet as much as possible and return to the thing that has always been a place of refuge for me: words.
So it's been a wonderful day, October. Thanks for being patient with me while I struggled my way through this week, and I think you'll be hearing from me much more frequently in the near future.


* The book, in case you were wondering, is The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

Song of the Day (to quiet your mind): The Violet Hour by The Civil Wars

1 comment:

  1. WOW I love the song, the quote, the "nineteenth-century" activities idea, and the book! I've seen the book on goodreads and haven't had the chance to read it, but it looks really good! I can't wait to read a book that will make me feel like a kid again. Abbey Nights sound like fun too, and that's such a great answer to the "what's your idea of fun" question. It makes a lot of sense that turning off all our screens would make nights seem longer, but I've never really thought about it that way. Why exactly is it called Abbey Nights if it isn't related to Downtown Abbey (or the time period, if it isn't related to that time period either??)? I'd like to try it too, sometime. Glad you finally get a break after that finals week!