Have you ever been in the mood to be in another time and place? It’s sort of a strange feeling. Like being in the mood to listen to a certain musical artist or having a craving for a certain type of food. It’s usually this desire for a certain time and place that dictates what book I will listen to while I work. Most recently I was the in mood for upper class England in the 1800’s. I was in the mood to walk through quaint villages, stroll along well manicured lanes, run over downs and approach one’s cottage through the garden gate. So I have been listening to Jane Austen novels the past week. The weather has also been obliging a few days this week. It was cloudy, damp and gloriously gray. The other days of the week were not so atmospheric. It was a little harder to imagine myself somewhere else whilst seeing a scorching North Carolina August day out the window. The light had none of the softness I was craving, nor was my “garden” quite so picturesque as I could have liked. But despite reality trying to intrude on my gallivanting soul’s need to be else where, the written word was still transporting. It is amazing the power novels have to transport. To first create and then fulfill the desire to be somewhere else.
I don’t know what exactly prompts these yearnings within me. I have them frequently and not always for the same place. I have had cravings for Bon Temps (of TrueBlood), for 1980’s Hawaii (of Magnum PI) and for less reality based landscapes such as small stone alleyways where quills, wands and owls can be purchased. It’s not a desire for the plots of these different stories or TV shows. I know the plots of many of these stories well. There is no surprise in how anything is to turn out. It’s a craving for the atmosphere of these places. The quality of the light, the creepiness of the towns, or the camaraderie of the characters. While I was listening to a story for the 7th or 8th time this week my husband asked “Why are you listening to that again? You know what happens?” I replied I like the setting. At the time it was the only answer I could really come up with. But that was too simplistic. I was visiting a world, characters, and atmosphere I loved.