Since I was a child, I haven’t been able to see more than two feet in front of me. My sight was correctable, but without thick glasses or hard contacts, all I saw were colors and shapes. About six weeks ago I had eye surgery, with seven stitches in each eye and a lengthy healing process ahead of me. It turns out all of the things I usually do require me to see and to see well. So, though I’m on sabbatical working on my second novel, suddenly I couldn’t write—or read, or research, or drive, or cook, or walk in the sun, or watch movies, or text, or check my email, or play Catan. Instead I spent much of my time in bed in the dark, “reading” audiobooks.
As of this writing, I’m driving short distances, making notes for my novel, cooking, getting there. There is nothing quite like the solace of being read to when you need to rest. Thank you, brilliant authors and patient narrators. You gave me pleasure, connection, and meaning, adventure, tears, and laughs—hour-by-hour, image after sumptuous image. All I had to do was listen, while you showed me the world.
Good start. But I needed something that would last.
In this 2013 Audie winner, Colin Firth gives an authentic performance of Graham Greene’s evocative analysis of the love of self, the love of another, and the love of God. Whether you laughed at Colin Firth screaming a long string of expletives in “The King’s Speech” or swooned at his stoic confessions of adoration in “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” you’ll want to hear him reading this story of flourishing love.
Narrated by Colin Firth
Around this time, I got a few stitches out, and one of my eyes slid into partial focus. I decided to celebrate with something outside my comfort zone.
The miraculous in the old world—I could relate . . . Self-pity and despair were leaking in. Maybe I needed something to chuck me on the chin.
I felt a little cheered and optimistic. I had more stitches taken out. I asked them when I could get back to work, when I could have sex, or drive to town. Be patient, they said (though it had already been a month). Time for another deep plunge.
Now my eyes only burned instead of ached. I did have sex, finally, carefully. I found the place in the fence where the dog was getting out and wrote a couple quick emails aided by autocorrect. But I still couldn’t read.
Sometimes that’s what it takes to open our eyes.