I promise not to read…

I read a lot. I am always reading. Street signs, menus, books on the tube, magazines with my coffee, newspaper headlines as i pass a newsstand. I am a reader. 

My favourite escape and one of my favourite pastimes in life is to expose my brain to new experiences, information, emotions and ideas, using books. I worship books, treasure bookshops, and dream of having a library in my home. 

This week, i am going on holiday to Berlin and Venice. This will be my third time in Venice. I was there in august 2003 and February 2004. A travel blogger and McGill alumnus told me, in 2013, that he had seen Venice all year round and it was the most beautiful in spring. So I am taking The Man there this May. He knows what to expect, and i hope he will be stunned, as I was, nonetheless. Venice is magical. A place out of time. 

It is my resolution to not read on this holiday. Normally i am an abundant and abusive reader, experiencing life through words, be they on a page, a kindle screen, a blog on the iPad or my twitter feed on the iPhone. If you speak to me at length, you will notice that when a conversation becomes more involved, my sentences start sounding like something you might write down. When i need to think and express myself clearly, writing habits take over. 

Despite my addiction to the written word, I am vowing to not read on this holiday. Perhaps i will allow myself the odd guidebook, or an italian magazine to brush up on my vocabulary. Maybe a german children’s book? Small things. Useful things. 

Writing will be allowed. But right now I am going to go home, finish adjusting my carry on contents (10 days abroad, 2 cities, 1 carry on case…) and add in my acquarelle travel set. Because from this holiday i want to remember every ray of sun, every glass window, every gust of wind and wave of water. I want to remember every brick in the arch of the Rialto bridge. Every cobblestone, every smile, every kiss.

So I will watch, and look, and draw. Because when i have drawn something, and see it again, not only do i remember the subject of my drawing, but also what i was thinking when drawing it. Whether i was eating, having coffee, sitting comfortably or sketching a fleeting impression, standing up, on the go. I remember what I was doing before, what I did after, and who was with me. 

When i read, i learn and I escape. My brain grows. 

But when I draw, I remember. And my body is present where I am. 

I promise not to read…

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