Books for the Future

I’ve bought lots of books lately. This hasn’t happened to me in a while, which is a telling way of describing the experience. Buying a book is an experience for me, which seems to tell me that unconsciously I’m thinking about my future, since each book I read often influences what happens in my life. Books are like dreams in that way. Whenever I spend time with dream images, unusual things happen in my daily life. It’s such a subjective experience that it’s hard to describe. Two days ago I bought my last book, and when I walked with it toward the cash register I felt as if I were taking a risk. It’s been a while since I’ve felt that way with a book. This same hardcover had caught my attention for the first time the previous week at University Bookstore, when this latest book-buying binge of mine had probably started. Now, at The Elliott Bay Book Company, I knew I wanted to spend time with these pages, with this author, from whom I suspected I would learn painful lessons. Fortunately, those weren’t the words that came to mind. So I walked home with In the Mind Fields: Exploring the New Science of Neuropsychoanalysis. Casey Schwartz has worked as a science writer, which reminded me that I’d trained to be a journalist in undergraduate school, and her passion for this subject reminded me of my own passions. She’d thought she’d wanted to become a psychologist, and this reminded me that I’d trained to be a psychotherapist and then dedicated myself to writing. She was much younger than me, I didn’t want to know by how much, and the sadness I felt about missed opportunities was real. It is real. I seem to be thinking about continuity in one’s life, the importance of allowing one’s passions to shape one’s future. I’ve enjoyed reading In the Mind Fields, and I sense that this book and I will become even closer over time.

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