Saturday, May 08, 2010

Soothing Voices

When I was small my mom would read books to me before I went to sleep. I'm sure she did. But I don't have distinct memories of the particular books. I have vague memories of some well read picture books, including one about a penguin who goes off on his own and lives on a sunny beach. When I was a bit older she read the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy to my younger brothers. I wonder what she read to me and up to what age. I have a feeling that she may have read at least parts of The Hobbit, and Charlotte's Web to me and my sister. But I'm not sure. Just because these events are outside my conscious memory, though, doesn't stop them them from shaping the person I've become. A reader, of course. But also a person who can get through physical ailments with the soothing sounds of just about any American voice reading or talking. (I can't do British audio books. I don't understand or have a working theory on why. I just can't.)

I fell off a chair and broke both my elbows four years ago. The first 48 hours after that accident were very painful. I got through some of the worst hours by listening to audio books. The sound of another voice telling a story carries my mind away from whatever pain or stress I'm experiencing and gently eases me into a restful sleep. Last night I was in the worst part of a cold I've been fighting for a couple days. I was congested and achy and restless. But I was able to relax and sleep by listening to two Speaking of Faith podcasts.

Even though I don't have detailed or specific memories, I'm glad my mom planted the seeds of this easy and effective way for me to deal with physical pain and stress. And I'm glad there are so many options available these days to find such a wide variety of audio books and programs.