Levar Burton is intersectionality personified. His name speaks to children and adults alike. Science fiction nerds and serious historical nonfiction consumers. He has been Kunta Kinte and Martin Luther King and has danced foolishly through libraries. His voice can be found on numerous animated programs. He is a legend. When you say Levar Burton, only the hipsterest of hipsters would say “Oh him? Never heard of him.” And then we would forget about that jerk and go back to loving Levar Burton.
I have not yet been able to get into audiobooks. I cannot do it. My mind wanders to other things and then I’m two chapters in and I have no idea what just happened. When I read I need to actually be reading the book, either in physical or e-book format. That’s just where I am at right now.
But then I listened to episode 1 of Levar Burton Reads. He starts with a sort of meditation invitation: to get comfortable, to open our minds, to take some deep breaths, and to get ready to listen. Truth be told I was typing up the review for Cruel Beautiful World while watching the weather on Bay News 9 while listening, so I wasn’t necessarily in the right space for this. Here’s what I discovered about myself though: maybe audiobooks and podcasts like this one are my opportunity for meditation.
Maybe just putting something like this podcast on for 30 minutes and just deep breathing and listening could be a way for me to relax. Maybe, just maybe, I can enjoy audiobooks or books being read to me if I pair it with meditation. Candles, comfy chair, closed door, headphones – it all came to me in a rush as he was reading, and you probably could have seen the light bulb come on over my head like Wile E. Coyote. I’ve been wanting to get into meditation. I’ve been wanting to find a way to get into audiobooks.
Levar Burton, you sneaky, epiphany-inducing butterfly.
So duh, go enjoy his new podcast.