There is nothing like the blast of air-conditioning in your face when the weather outside is hot enough to make the Wicked Witch of the West to melt WITHOUT water. We were amidst a kajillion hour car drive up to a state no one hears about or seems to care about (other than Rhode Island) Maine, and my family and I had decided to pick up a few books along the way. Lucky for us, there was a Books-a-Million out in the middle of nowhere (it was an outlet mall, but those count as nowhere, right?) so we stepped into the store and breathed a loud sigh of relief. I certainly had had enough of sitting neck and neck with my large-shouldered relatives, enduring endless bits of meaningless conversation, and I believe my family felt the same.
Putting me into a bookstore is like putting a little kid into a candy store, all these tasty bits of chocolate and other colorful creations with only a wrapper keeping you away from tasting them. In a way, it’s overwhelming, I honestly wish I knew everything these books could teach me, like how to make 50 different chocolate cakes, and I certainly do want to know wins the Hunger Games and how Barney saves the day and all that yammer. Books are so much better than the internet because with a bookstore, you get a melting pot of experts and actual names, other than the generic almighty Google or Wikipedia. Sure, they can tell me anything I wish to know. But the internet is a big place. This bookstore, even with a rows and rows of shelves I can barely reach the top of filled with books, two floors and don’t get me started on the non-book goodies, it still isn’t as big as the internet.
However, being as diverse as a Department store in terms of its subjects, I can still say it’s hard to navigate that place. I probably drove my family a bit bonkers by keeping them in there while seconds were dripping off the clock, but it was worth it when I found this book. I was in the back side of the store, when I came across a thin blue book that read: I Can’t Sleep, an inner truth journal.
Consequentially, it is because this is a journal, and not a book that I do not call this a ‘book review’. A journal certainly fits the qualifications, it’s got paper, a cover, it’s a published book, and makes money by being sold. But, of course, you have to take into account it really does not have any original content, other than its cover and the quotes found on each couple of pages. I have, however, found it to be quite helpful, especially a writer like me who juggles an over-active mind and college.
Having the journal by my bedside gave some meaning to the nights I could not sleep. I would always want to wring my own neck the next morning, but I can’t control my mind sometimes, as much as I wish I could. There are nights when ideas fly through the mind like fireflies, and although I want to catch them, its dark and I don’t have a net and it’s cold and excuses excuses. In the past, before this journal, I would just tuck myself into bed a little tighter and then attempt to beat my mind into submission, tell the ideas to shut up. Yeah, that worked alright. NOT.
So, this journal, in turn, became a ‘net’ for these fireflies. In the process of turning on the light, I would pick up my net, my journal, and start to catch the fireflies. I watched them crawl in the net and blink their lights. I might even put it on my palm, feel its little legs prick my hand, before letting it blasting off into the night with its little blinkers. I might even have put them into a jar (not that I endorse animal capture, or anything), and watch them fiddle around and poke the sides of the jar as if fascinated by the invisible shield. I got caught up in the mere sight of them, and then, I let them go.
And WA-LA, in the morning, I have a better recollection of what the idea was, and how it moved, breathed, poked at glass. It’s not the same firefly, unless I wrote down exactly what the idea was, but the ideas don’t feel like a random collection of lights anymore. They’re written down, in a frenzy of tired, sleep-deprived drunk words, but still, they’re there. All in a nice journal with some little quotes to make me feel better about not being able to get sleep. Who wouldn’t feel good about having the same problems as one of the great artists or sages? Again, I’ll hate myself in the morning, but save the frustration for the morning. Being angry in bed helps no-one.
Like the journal says on the cover, “so if I can’t get sleep I might as well write and channel my misery into something productive.” There is some truth to that statement, don’t you agree? Even if it may not be a good time, or we are not spending our time like we think we should, why not just throw expectation out the window and catch a few fireflies? It certainly sounds better than gnawing on a pillow, waiting for sheep to jump over fences just so you can go to dream-land. If you ask me, the sheep will damn-well choose the best time to jump the fence, not me nor you.
So for those nights, when college was a pain, and this journal kept me sane, I give this thing a 5 Star. Deal with it.
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Adios! Hasta viernes! (Bye! Until Friday!)