"May I share something with you?" He asked.
"Of course," she replied.
Over the past year, I have been blessed to know people that embrace a culture of sharing. Sharing their time, their knowledge, their homes, and especially their hearts. When we share pieces of ourselves with others, when we give over something deep within that identifies us, we are not just sharing ourselves, we are building a shared space that begins to a create "us."
I have received a number of books in the last twelve months. Some have been gifts from family for obligatory gift-giving holidays, others have been surprises from friends, a few have appeared from near-strangers. I am always taken aback by the generosity of spirit that comes from receiving a small package, unexpected, containing the bound words from another. It feels intimate, yet so very public, all at once.
As an English major, and a general lover of the written word, I began to amass a great number of books during college. Some where required reading but most just works of interest that I devoured and placed on a shelf (built in my parents' basement) to be saved or referenced at some point in the future. After I moved out and started my career, the books stayed on that shelf, I having neither the strength nor room to relocation them to my current apartment-living lifestyle.
One day, my brother told me he started reading some of the books on the shelf. In high school at the time, he was just discovering the magic that can happen between two covers. He would read and return these pieces, having found a library that, probably unbeknownst to him, told a deep story of my own literary journey. As time passed, I would recommend, he would read, and we would share. Even the books not discussed held a type of sharing, one that runs deeper than analysis and questions and shapes hearts to fit together more easily.
So on my desk at work, I began to collect the books of all genres and forms that have arrived to be shared with me over the last year. Sometime in March, I realized that these books might as well be tossed away if they are to sit stationary for only one pair of eyes to admire. I yearned to share the phrases found and lines formed in these pieces.
I started to read one everyday at lunch. If someone else, a teacher or student, happened to be around, I would share a page or two, a poem, a recipe, a nugget of wisdom, from these beautiful works of arts. The speaking of these words and the sharing of these works brought extreme pleasure, questions, calmness, and much joy. So I figured why not share this space with a larger audience?
Everyday (as much as I can control), at 12:59pm, I read from one of these books. Sometimes just a line or two, sometimes rushing through a whole chapter or multiple poems, but always sharing these words and this time of meditation with the world. A moment of time is documented and tagged with #Litlunch. These books are fine in the silence of my own head, but letting the world in to take a look is so more fulfilling.
Want to see what is being shared next? Or want to share your own findings? I welcome you to join me.