Sometimes they are interesting, long-form, essay-type articles, the kind with heavy content. Think grief, sadness, depression, dying. That kind of (serious but important) thing. I’m really interested in finding out more about the difficult sides of being human, as well as championing the more joyful.
So, I start to read these kinds of pieces and then I will often go ‘Oh. I think this is too much for me right now. Interesting, for sure, but too sad. Too weighty. Too heavy. In need of a quiet room and my full concentration.’
I then save them to my Pocket account (a simple bookmarking type platform), to read later, presumably. And I click away ‘until another day.’
The thing is, when that day comes, and when I go in to my Pocket bookmarks, it’s sort of like a petrified forest of tough stuff, all knotty trees and twisted limbs and boughs. It’s a wild, word wood. Sort of thing.
I brace myself, picking my way through the articles about the dark side of human nature – which are often illogically saved next to less dark things like ‘Homemade Tater Tots Recipe’ and ‘How To Make Perfect Pickles’ – with a tightness in my stomach.
My eyes skim over the things filed in there, registering the subject matter and then bounce away before I can engage too much with the things I am (apparently, painfully) seeking to understand. THEN I open ONE article, click out of my bookmarks and leave that one article open for 4 days in my browser – trying to dip in and out of it. Invariably closing it with the thought that it’s still saved in my Pocket account and I can read it later.
SOMETIMES I can get through the whole thing, if I’ve had enough sleep/coffee/food/kindness in my life. OFTEN I can’t. (And weirdly, I don’t do this with straight news articles… perhaps it is the length/subject matter combo that weighs most on me?)
Ugh. I guess that one day I might be less anxious and able to read the in-depth, heavier/sadder things I’m interested in, in their entirety. Or maybe I won’t be. I am not sure. Maybe I’m saving them in a bid to acknowledge that stuff, but not feel it. Or honour that stuff, but not witness it. Or something like that.
Maybe I just like curating petrified forests of earnest writing.
Do you do this? If you do, you are not alone. FYI. We can be a little bit weird together, can’t we? If you don’t do this, you are WAY less wimpy than me. Go you!