Amybow visited me this week and accused me of being a lazy blogger. I told her indeed I am not, I am a busy blogger, just not busy blogging...and I am a sad blogger because during my downtime I have been succumbing to the absence of my maniacal pet who drove me crazy on a daily basis and now leaves my life strangely devoid of presence.
Amybow's further accusatory statements included, "You're just retyping someone else's words." and I am shamefaced to admit it is so. I used a great great grandfather as a crutch. I will continue his story, but will only post one entry per week so that my own voice will ring out again.
The last few days, I have found a friend in a new book on CD - Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Given to me by my fellow commuter - Boss Lady - she warned me that the book opens with a rather glutunous outpouring of self-pity and depression but if I hung on I would get into it.
Um. OK. Sounds like the ideal thing for me to be listening to right now. Especially on a road-rage filled highway as I travel to my insane job or to my stunningly empty house.
But...despite Boss Lady's warning, this book had me at Hello. I think it is the IDEAL time for me to be listening to this book. It is about a brave self-discovery in the face of crippling emotional, chemical, and physical depression. And when I realized it was being read by the author - and is a true portrayal of her life over one year of travels through Italy, India, and Indonesia, I sank even deeper into the story.
I listened to this book this week when I was stuck in 2 hours of rush hour traffic. And loved every minute of the delay. I listened to this book when I stayed much too late at work to get my head above water after several weeks of sticking to my 6:30PM departure deadlines, and I wished that the drive home had taken longer. I have a feeling I may listen to this book more than once...and I will probably want to buy the book and revel in its pages as well.
Have you ever had that kind of immediate and intimate connection with a story? I felt it also with the "Dogs of Babel", which I was stunned to realize was written by a woman, while I felt it captured a man's voice exceptionally well.
If I look way back in my life I think I recall the first time this connection happened, and once again it was an auditory experience, not a visual one. In 5th grade, the three grade-level teachers each selected a book and created a slot for reading to a group and then allowed all 5th graders to select which book they wished to read in a group setting. It was like a several week long extended storytime at a bookstore...hearing these teachers who were trying so hard to teach us long division and basic principles of science and history, snuggle down in a chair with us surrounding them seated "indian" fashion, and enter a world of fantasy or adventure. I participated in three reading groups that year - and to this day I remember each teacher's name and the book they read. Mr. Loun read, The Long Walk by Sławomir Rawicz. Mr. Ferrington read The Fantastic Voyage by Isaac Asimov, and my favorite - the one that touched my soul - was Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. There is nothing like a boy and his dogs story.
So now, if this book plays out as good as the first few chapters, I can add a new book to my short-list of favorites. Those books that speak to your soul and are the ones you know will be dog-eared and well-worn as you read and re-read them year after year. The books that had you at Hello.