Posted by: Sally Ingraham | January 30, 2008

Read a Magazine or Two

I have been reading a lot of magazines recently – Smithsonian, Bangor Metro, Down East, National Geographic, Portland, Discovery, and any number of other magazines. If it has an interesting cover I’ll pick it up, if it’s about the area, or a subject that interests me, or even something I know nothing about that looks intriguing.

The more magazines I pick up the more subjects I find that are interesting. I read a whole magazine about archeology the other day, and an article in it tied into an article I had read recently in Smithsonian. Something I read in Smithsonian was brought up in conversation with friends later that week, and I could say something intelligent about it. Suddenly, I am feeling more informed.

I don’t watch TV – being unwilling to pay for it – and I only read local papers, so all too often I fall behind the times. Perhaps reading magazines is the answer. I have frequently desired to be a “well read” person, but there are so many books to read and I feel like I could never read enough. Besides, all too often the books at the library are out of date themselves. So to the magazines I will go.

I realize that it’s not really a matter of being “well read”, whatever that means, and that if I am striving only to sound intelligent I will probably end up just sounding foolish. Who cares what I know, or if others know how much I know. It’s really about keeping my curiosity alive. It is so easy for me to hole up in my house with my movies and my novels, and go for walks alone, write a little and scribble drawings of trees in my sketchbook…being creative to some extent, but falling into a sedentary mindset. I stop learning new things.

I sometimes wish I could step out of myself, so that I could study myself and watch the patterns that my life makes. Sometimes, even from as close as I am, I can watch myself and tell when I have let myself go, when I have settled, when I have turned into a puddle and my only activity is evaporating. If only I could catch myself doing it and stop myself before I reach that point!

I must be a moving stream, active, involved, stirred up, stretched. Although it sounds silly, let these magazines be the bow that draws across the string of my being, keeping me vibrating so that sounds and music come out – new notes, not old stale ones. I need growth, especially right now in my life. I need new thoughts, new ideas, new subjects, new discoveries, new things to be excited about.

I sat for an hour this morning, variously enthralled by articles about Hemmingway in Cuba, trout populations in the US, Elvis impersonators, and the newest theories about Stonehenge. Maybe next week I’ll have woken up enough to delve into politics and the state of our economy, be curious enough to pick up a Times Magazine, or Popular Science, or US News Weekly!


  1. Heh we have rabbit ears – refusing to pay as well. I guess in 2009 we won’t be able to do that anymore…sadness…

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