While loafing in a hospital bed for the first two weeks of 2012, I did little to forestall the expected boredom. No laptop. No tablet. No Jeffrey Deaver Novel. But I did listen. Not to the television; it was silent. I listened to the conversations in the hallways, the adjoining rooms, and the nursing station which was becoming a customer service call center. And…….I listened to the voices of the past. I endured mother’s criticism. I enjoyed her company when attending a recital, a symphony or a play. Her harsh words were a reflection of my lack of spontaneity. I would reach adulthood before Sadie Hannah Marie Oakes-Broom would realize just how much I appreciated her guidance in these matters; the exposure to so much inspiration.
It was different with Father. When he took me bowling I enjoyed myself . It wasn’t the bowling. It was my father. We didn’t interact much; mostly I just watched him having fun with his friends. I wanted to be like Dixie Broom. I wanted father to like theater and music. I had to decide who I was and be me.
I didn’t talk about it. I locked myself in the library and I wrote:
From CuriousAbner.wordpress.com January 3, 2012
“My father’s defense against my interrogative chatter was to buy a set of World Books. I can still hear him saying ‘Look it up in World Book.’ I must have heard that sentence leave his lips a thousand times. In less than a year I had abandoned the limited vocabulary and the thousands of pictures contained therein and had moved into the family library. That room soon became known as Lee’s Room. I developed a method for research similar to Googling though that word would not come into the language for nearly sixty years.
If I wanted to study the making of motion pictures or the sounds of other languages I would check out five or six books from the library, scan them, choose one that captured my interest and when happening on a subset of ideas which captured my attention and generated more questions, use the indexing and glossaries of the other books and compare data. I returned for a while to the World Book’s collection of illustrations, using them as guidelines for drawing my own pictures. In this way I learned the various cattle breeds, and those of horses, other domesticated animals and eventually the wild things and plants. “
Those are the sounds i heard while loafing in my hospital bed. I am glad to be back at my desk. And now……off to the gym.