About six years ago I finally had to give up reading, after a struggle with various lenses, reading devices, and print of all sizes. People suggested books on discs. A few friends offered to read to me. But if you have been a serious reader all of your life, none of these things is a satisfactory solution. You want to go to your library, pull out a book, and start flipping through the pages.
It did occur to me that if I loved reading as much as I did, then I ought to be determined to find a way to read. And what is wrong with being read to? Had the normal easy access to my books made me lazy in some way? One of the pillars of my being had always been my love of literature. Was I really prepared to give it up without a better fight? It’s a question that still plagues me somewhat, but I have decided that my literary past should be just that -- the past. If Rimbaud could give up poetry at age nineteen, why can’t I give up reading at age eighty?
What troubles me is the way literature can be forgotten if it isn’t reviewed occasionally. In spite of that, or perhaps because of it, now I feel that all I have read is a part of who I am, and that is what I must be content with. I have built an edifice of literature for myself, and now I must stop building and live in it, even if the walls are crumbling. Everything I have read is a large part of my consciousness. And that extends to my physical being, my flesh and bones.
Acceptance of circumstance is productive if it is not premature, if it occurs after the struggle is resolved. In a sense, if I accept the fact that reading is a part of the past, and not part of the present or future, I am creating a new world, with new things to explore. That is the beauty of acceptance, it opens a new arena of possibility. It makes one aware of the evolutionary processes, and the reasons behind them. It makes us realize that in the face of a handicap we can still accept, remember, imagine, and invent.