Thoughts for Thursday - It's Thursday?

Oh, my, February is lurching by, and I'm struggling. Earlier this week, my father was readmitted to the hospital; he is weak and in ICU but most likely will go back to the skilled nursing facility in a few days. My poor dad! He must feel like a punching bag, what with all the moving and PT and tests and IVs.

This, plus the latest learning cycle on my relatively new job, has rendered my brain matter into kibble.

With a mind of mush, I'm in the pick-up-put-down mode of reading. Having picked up and put down several other books, including Chabon's Yiddish Policement's Union (fantastic writing, but too difficult for kibble-head), I decided to focus on books that I can read in chunks. And I'm trying to find books to make myself understand or come to terms with old age. Happily, there are books just made for that purpose! I'm delving into:

At Seventy: A Journal by May Sarton. She gives a special spin to the mundane and makes 70 look enviable.

Living Without Regret: Growing Old in the Light of Tibetan Buddhism by Arnaud Maitland. I'm 3/4 of the way through. This is great stuff. I will share some pearls of wisdom soon.

The Gentleman from San Francisco by Ivan Bunin. Short stories are great for short spurts of reading. I have been meaning to dip my toes into this one. Will also focus on the reading at A Curious Singularity.

Was it only last year I read my second volume of Proust, plus Henry James and Cervantes and Hugo? Wistful sigh.


Iliana said...

It's awful having a sick parent. My thoughts are with you LK. Best wishes for your dad.
I am surprised you are still even reading although I guess it is a good comfort isn't it? When my dad was ill all I could read was People magazine and cozy mysteries :)
Looking forward to those pearls of wisdom from Living Without Regret. I already like the sound of that.

LK said...

Thanks so so much for your thoughts, Iliana. It is good of you to share that you too experienced the "mind mush" syndrome. I guess I was afraid it reflected my own mind trending down as opposed to a temporary phenomenon! Bless you!

Andi said...

My best to your dad. And to you with the learning curve and all.

It sounds like a wise move, reading in chunks. The Sarton sounds especially intriguing.

Squirrel said...

I want to read that Buddhism & Aging book. I've been reading 'Buddhism and Friendship' by Subhuti and am enjoying it.

Sarton sounds good too.

A great book of short stories is 'Women & Fiction' Vol 1 edited by Cahill. Every story is a gem.

Tara said...

So sorry to hear about your Dad. In your situation, I would be reading easy, cozy, comfortable books like a good Maeve Binchy or similar. Take care.

Dorothy W. said...

I'm sorry to hear about your father! It makes perfect sense to tailor your reading to your attention-span and to your preoccupations. I hope he's doing okay, and that the job is treating you right!

Dark Orpheus said...

I wouldn't be able to read either if I was you. Several years back my mom was in hospital to remove a tumour in her breast. I was supposed to be working on my thesis but I couldn't bring myself to read or to write. I ended up throwing all my notes away one night out of frustration.

So, please take care. If you can't read, it may be better to just lie back and listen to some music instead.

But damn - you just reminded me I need to finish Proust this year. Really!

litlove said...

I feel so much for you, really I do. It must be a dreadful time for you and your family. If you can find anything at all to read that brings a little comfort and distraction then that sounds just right. All those authors will happily wait for another day. Sending much love.

dennis said...

Dennis thinks Maeve Binchy would be an excellent choice.

Amanda said...

I'm so sorry to hear that your dad is going through so much. I'm sending out tons of virtual hugs for you and your family.

I find it difficult to read during stressful times, some people I know relish reading when things are bad and see it as an escape. I, on the other hand, spend a lot of time listening to music and staring at the wall when things are bad.

Hang in there!

dennis said...

Dennis sends love.

Tai said...

During difficult times, when attention spans are fragmented, the best reading comes in short, rich bits. You might explore The Book of Embraces, by Eduardo Galeano.

Sending warm thoughts to you and your pop.

Courtney said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. You and your family are in my thoughts. I wish I could do something.

Anonymous said...

You are definitely still in my thoughts. I am glad you can find some reading comfort as you wade through all the various twists and turns of a sick parent.