Thursday, August 5, 2010

Life Skills

I presented my problem to the lady behind the checkout counter.  I want a book that is like Acedia and Me. I don't want a book that's like Bridges of Madison County or The Mistress of Spices.  Something that deals with everyday life.

The lady behind the checkout counter said, "I'll pull some things for you."  I came back a day later and she had 4 books for me. I sat in a comfy tall-backed rocker and read pages of each. Whereas I'm usually impatient before the end of the first paragraph, I read 2 and 3 pages before noticing, and the words plucked tears from my eyes.  I felt recognized and released.

I spent another hour in Watermark Books, and walked out with 6 books and all 4 of the ones the lady, who turned out to be the owner of the bookstore, recommended.  I've already finished 2 of those 1 week later.

Photo by Jennifer Henderson
On the plane ride from Wichita to Dallas, I started God Never Blinks and cried for most of the 52 minute flight.  Not an advertisement, I know, but trust me, this is a great book.  Author Regina Brett gives us 50 lessons for life's little detours:) Each lesson has been published and republished as an opinion column in a newspaper.

One of my favorite detours was Lesson 48 If You Don't Ask You Don't Get.  That very lesson helped me get into Microsoft to use the bathroom this morning at 7am way before the building was open.  Great restroom by the way.

Another one that had a profound impact on me was Lesson 18 A writer is someone who writes.  If you want to be a writer, write. So I do, I am and that lesson is helping me show up at the page more often.

Since I'll probably have a few more detours, this is one I'm keeping as a reference book. This is Regina's first book and I hope she writes another one.

photo by Jennifer Henderson
The 2nd book I've finished is First Light by Sue Monk Kidd. She has been a prolific and very successful writer and First Light is a collection of her early stories and essays. She's a little self-conscious in the introduction about the reflection of her early work on her later work but she shouldn't worry. Her writing inside made me want to read more of her. She has a unique ability to look at events, circumstances, nature and see the spiritual in it.

One quote I particularly like; "In the end, the only monument that matters may be the work of love we carve into the lives around us."

Both authors make great contributions to the skills required to get through and thrive in everyday life.

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