Post Mortem 🦋 Reflections on Four Decades of Reading 📖 and Talking ✍️

Reading is very different today with our smart phones and tablets and monitors. I know there’s an impact on our vision.

Perhaps there’s a conspiracy story inside that!

Reading has come a long way since the times people could not or were not allowed to read.

I want to celebrate and promote literacy and good reading. This is a conversation that can be educational and endless fun.

Thanks to my mom I started learning to read around 2 years old. I was out of material and reading things for grown ups by 4 years old – books upon books upon books.

Books like How To Talk So Kids Will Listen. 😆

A white pearl covered book with shiny blue lettering, How to Love, & a bright yellow covered book with gold writing that read, How To Get Things Done – it was in this book I read about how to talk to a computer (very clear instructions, no assumptions of knowledge).

Today our own intelligent creations have come a long way. Computers do far more and have become lightweight enough to connect us with vast amounts of information as we move through our days.

But why do we read? To learn? To know? To be part of a new story?

I think it’s to be part of a new story.

Change is about new stories. I’ve been exploring the idea that in times where life itself challenges us, we can use that turbulence to create a new story from all the knowledge we’ve accumulated so far along with the inertia of major life events.

I’ve learned indescribable things by exploring this idea. To delve so deeply into ones own psyche is an immense privilege that I was gifted.

But there were times I was too challenged by life to have the focus necessary for reading. Even for listening.

I needed to talk. Talking is therapy. Talk therapy is really good too. Listening while talking, to what I’m saying, how I feel about it, what it sounds like, the emotions (why am I so angry?).

I haven’t done much stage speaking. More the deeper one on one conversations where the expectations are different. Talking. Listening deeply to the responses, to the silence, seeing scenarios, deciding whether to listen only or respond in some kind of way.

In mikoopolis I imagine my love for sharing would welcome an opportunity to communicate big ideas for large audiences to play with.

But first I must write it all out I think – and read it back to myself. I feel I come from some deep wells and I connect things uniquely and I write through what I sometimes call brain burbles, a little bubble of emotional energy that is healing. Proofreading is more helpful now.

As much as I love to write dangerously, as Peter Elbow calls it, I know there is a time also for scrutiny and getting an eye for the technicalities of content development.

I think that’s the phase I’m coming to.

I’ve barely scratched the surface of four decades of reading and writing. This is good enough for a blog though – my priority right now is flow and feedback.

Here’s a story I remembered from my childhood reading:

When I was maybe 4 years old I read and heard a story about these Christians being taken to an iced lake, their clothes removed, to be left for dead since they wouldn’t renounce their faith.

Suddenly one of the Christians screamed, I renounce my faith!

And one of the Russian soldiers said I’ll take his place. As the clothes were taken from each of the Christians and they were placed out in the middle of the lake a pair of hands holding a crown came out of the sky and put the crown on the Christians head. But when the crown came to be placed on your head, you ran! Take my things. I want that crown.

Interesting that story came up again today. I designed a selfie pic today of my selfie party with a friend at the Venetian as I stood under one of their lights.

Using the canva app I added Crown Me Light Queen, here you can take a look.

Large Crown me light queen selfie of Miko under Venetian lights selfie party pre Chemo for breast cancer.
The lights are like my mothership crown.

This was a lovely idea. I was kind of surprised my terror was not more obvious.

I also made one for Instagram:

Crown me light queen selfie of Miko under Venetian lights selfie party pre Chemo for breast cancer.
Selfie party at the Venetian pre chemo summer 2015

Reading has been a journey of journeys. Novels, novellas, series, short stories, anthologies, so many terms I didn’t know for years after the first time I picked up The Chronicles of Narnia as a 4 year old, the year my reading really took off. I could see into new worlds with words and pictures. Some worlds I savored like a good meal or dessert. Others I disliked very much.

Plus I had an imagination of my own and reading inspired new stories in my own world which later became mikoopolis.

Without mikoopolis, my life might have looked very different.

Where would I go to play with ideas I learned in books? I felt too big for life and at the same time too small.

But in mikoopolis – my imaginary vision board – everything was just the perfect size. Especially me.

Perfect when I was a ten story tall white dragon. Perfect when I was a giantess chasing down lesser giants.

Perfect when I was a big fat baby crawling through space, rolling over planets.

Perfect when I was a miniature personal assistant. That didn’t actually happen yet.

I’d like to be part of a conversation that inspires imagination through reading and storytelling.

I’ve imagined putting together story kits and practiced my best growls and sounds for storytelling.

And I’ve figured out a new creative flow that I can do even while resting or standing. I have more flow than when I’m sitting. But I can do a bit of that too.

Imagine better. Focus more. Be ok with now. Appreciate detail. Savor savor savor.

This was supposed to be a post mortem on four decades of reading and talking.

That’s gonna take more than one post.

Cheers to flow and what comes after rebirth.

🥂 or if you prefer 🍻 or 🍸 or 🍹 or 🍷

I’ll drink a kombucha to that.

Other Reflecting

I wrote this with poetic intentions (free verse), using only first thoughts, a technique from the book Writing With Power by author Peter Elbow

I might have another go at the free verse but I didn’t want this to be too long to read.

The real beauty of reading is that it can quiet the mind and guide it into another realm, giving a powerful tool beyond knowledge, but more profoundly to reduce suffering.

There is so much of it we can help with creativity and storytelling – I’ve done it repeatedly in my lifetime for others often for no charge. I can only do so much as one person but life is about us as individuals as well as communities.

I’m thinking of approaching this in a fun way. Reading is so beneficial to the human experience as is talking.

How much reading do you do for pleasure or recreation? Your kids?

Sometimes I just sleep near books to absorb the energy of the books, their authors and readers.

I wonder what I could do with that?

Maybe tell a big fat juicy story of my life. How I stuff my life like I stuff my burrito till it’s overflowing.

Miko Hargett

PS: Thankfully I didn’t have to go on the ice to get my crown.

#freeverse #firstthoughts #writingwithpower #projects #literacy #reading #writing #reducingsuffering

#author #books #booksofinstagram #coffeeandwriting

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