Bernhard Schlink on being ill

“Being ill when you are a child or growing up is such an enchanted interlude! The outside world, the world of free time in the yard or the garden or on the street, is only a distant murmmur in the sickroom. Inside, a whole world of characters and stories proliferate out of the books you read. The fever that weakens your perception as it sharpens your imagination turns the sickroom into something new, both familiar and strange; monsters come grinning out of the patterns on the curtains and the carpet, and chairs, tables, bookcases and wardrobes burst out of their normal shapes and become mountains and buildings and ships you can almost touch although they’re far away. Through the long hours of the night you have the Church clock for company and the rumble of the occasional passing car that throws it’s headlights across the walls and ceilings. These are hours without sleep, which is not to say they’re sleepless, because on the contrary, they’re not about lack of anything, they are rich and full. Desires, memories, fears, passions form labryinths in which we lose and find then lose ourselves again. They are hours where anything is possible, good or bad.” 

– Bernhard Schlink

I went home ill from work yesterday, and am spending most of the day today at home in my pyjamas, trying to feel better so I can go to rehearsals this afternoon for the production of ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ (only 1o days until production week!). I used to quite enjoy being ill when I was younger, spending the day reading in bed, or watching Disney movies. Now I always feel guilty when I am ill, like I should be doing something more productive. This quote by Bernhard Schlink has reminded me that it is okay to do nothing while I am sick, and just stay in bed and read. I finished Emil and the Detectives this morning, which was adorable and enchanting, and now I am going to start The Wolves of Willoughby Chase


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