Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Dreaming of Near Kingdoms

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I suffer from Insomnia. The bad kind, the capital I kind, the kind that dictates the rhythms of a life, that affects my relationships with people. Sleep meds don't play well with my metabolism or brain chemistry.

Lately I have taken to reading this curious little book before I go to bed. Three to four stories at a time. Stringing it out, savoring it. The nights that I do this, I sleep easier. Something about this book runs counter to the sharp, jagged metal anxieties that keep me up at night. The words are a soft firefly's glow, the feeling of dew, the smell of green and the sound of birdsong in the morning. Every story is a smile and outstretched hand. Paired with illustrations that pace and lope alongside you as you travel, that delight and baffle the wandering eye.

Cacti that create local deserts in order to thrive. Roaches that continually stay just out of sight. Living, lonely mural pandas. Each creature is so familiar and yet so new, in this kingdom that is so near and yet so far. You feel like you could find them in your backyard, if you woke up one day in a world made just a little more mischievous by a pair of subtle hands, one with a pen, one with a brush, working in concert.

My favorite creature? The Auntie Wasp. Possessed of a generosity and nurturing nature so incredibly rare among insect-kind that it seems a miracle, or perhaps an ironic twist of fate.

Find this gateway to kingdoms near and far here.

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