The Compass by Diamond Miller (English 9)

Imagine a world of nothingness. It’s not dark and it’s not light; there is no up and there is no down; there is no right and there is no wrong- only nothing. What can you make of nothing? How does one take nothing and mold it into something?

How does one find his or her way when they are lost? They anchor themselves to something that keeps them sane and keeps them hoping that this weight is as transformative as it is medicinal.  A book is such an anchor; without a reader it is nothing- firewood, a doorstop, or a seat cushion. But, once held in one’s hand and used, it is a tool of self awareness and imagination.  

A writer of a famous novel always begins with an idea. That idea begins to feed on other thoughts and suggestions until every thought has been written on a page– an indelible idea. . So it waits quietly for anything to nourish it,  perhaps a wavering eye or a curious mind.  A book brings that idea back to life, like a fading candle rekindling another untouched wick stuck in wax. .  

With pages bound together by imagination and a beautiful landscape waiting to be built, I builds a tall fortress of shimmering crystal.  A large black dragon coiled around the tower, blowing out red hot fire. It creeps closer to me, baring its white teeth in my face and gets ready to scorch my body until I quickly close the book. I stare at the written pages, wondering how such a vivid vision could be formed with the help of merely words on a page. I was so lost in the story that I hadn't realized the sun ducking behind the clouds and a starry blanket of blue engulfing the sky outside, preparing for night . I  had completely forgotten how today was the day I had received a diatribe from my teacher for daydreaming and got in trouble at home for making my sister cry. By losing myself in my own imagination, the problems  of that day seemed insignificant.

For as long as I can remember I have been that girl– lost in her own thoughts, her own world. The reader who didn't bother to look up from her book during class. The one who could say that the middle school library needed new books because she had already read them all. The girl who felt safer with a book in her hand and the wise words in her mouth than any weapon in the world. Reading gave me a sense of security  that created a stable base I knew I could never fall off of. It helped me construct a place where no one but me could ever rule over - where only I would know which route to take to my destination. Reading gave me a sense of knowing that only being stuck in my head for so long could grant me.  

It’s not that I read books to forget everything, but to block it out long enough for me to have an adventure. When I don’t read, I feel empty, as if all my creativeness has dissipated into a void of the mainstream trends. Reading a novel stops me from being normal; it prevented me from mixing in perfectly with the crowd; it makes me, even on the darkest of nights, shine just a bit brighter than the rest.