Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cause and Effect

Kevin and I have been continuing our reading project together. We only have a few more chapters left of "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein. On Sunday night I read for over 2 hours. We got through about 12 chapters in that time (they are short.) But it was a hard 12 chapters. Mainly, because I was sobbing through a large majority of them.
I can keep my emotions in check when reading to myself and will usually only shed a tear or two, if any at all. However, reading aloud did not allow me to push through the sad parts, tears in my eyes, to get to a happier section. No. At one point I had to put the book down, collect myself and try again. Sobbing. Voice caught in my throat, tears spilling, hard to breath sobbing.
Kevin thought I was crazy.
Here is where we see how we react differently to books. I develop relationships with the characters and they become alive to me. For Kevin, they are just a character. These people are real in my head and I feel the emotions they are going through. Kevin sits stone faced listening, but not feeling. If I read about the "hero" of my book losing his wife and "grabbing at the last of her" by feeling the dirt that buried her, it's going to be hard for me to not get emotionally upset. I'm tearing up now just writing about it. Kevin doesn't understand how I become so connected with the characters. This led to a great conversation about how the development of a character blooms in my head. How I picture the character and they become real to me. How, even after seeing movies, I still have my own clear picture of a character in my head, and they remain that way. How MY Lestat doesn't look anything like Tom Cruise. How MY Elizabeth doesn't look anything like Keira Knightly, though close. Kevin still didn't get it. I tried to explain how books allow you INSIDE the characters minds and with that gift you are given a passage to someone else's life for the time when you are reading the book. That I become so involved with the character that I feel their pain, their joy, everything. It is why I laugh aloud at times while reading. It's why I will be reading with a big grin on my face, or a frown, or a look of bewilderment...because I am feeling what the character is feeling.
Kevin still didn't get it.
I guess some people just never will.
I do know what is coming in the next few chapters though, and have a feeling it may cause Kevin to actually shed a few tears.
Why? Because it isn't about a human, it is about a dog.
Kevin and the love of his life...

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