Writing Challenge: Writerly Reflections



Well, to be honest, I’m not in love with books.  I go into book stores wondering if any of the thousands of books can keep my attention.  I usually end up buying one, more for education than for pleasure, and wander out, slightly befuddled about my choice.  Will I love this as much as an album?  Will I learn from it what I told myself I will – no, should  – learn?  I don’t know.
I recently bought a copy of The Indie Spiritualist: A No Bullshshit Exploration of Spirituality (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dpopular&field-keywords=spirituality+no+bull+shit&rh=n%3A5174%2Ck%3Aspirituality+no+bull+shit) partially because I wanted to support the awesome bookstore in Sebastapool that I found it in, but mainly because the writer, Chris Grosso, writes in the same short way that I write.  In fact, his essays are a little bit shorter than my own reflections!  If he can get published, dammit, then so can I!
Back in the car, I perused the book a little more, and found the line, “Meditation is really fucking hard for anyone who’s been in a trauma of any kind” (I’m paraphrasing here).  It had me laughing in recognition – this guy thinks like me, but something deep resonated within me.  It’s so true…..I haven’t been able to meditate, let alone be mindful (although I’m working on this through mindful eating: something to do while paying attention to my feelings), ever since my big trauma back in 2010-2011.  Trying would send me back into triggers that I really, really didn’t want to explore another 1,000’th time.
  I really loved books as a kid.  When I was about 5th grade, I would crawl into my mom’s big bed and she would read to me until I fell asleep.  I remember the Giver vividly.  Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry: it’s name still gives me goosebumps. 
But then I went into an accelerated academic program in high school where we were supposed to record down quotes in the book and track our observations on the other end of the page.  I loved it at first – noticed that J.D. Salinger had a kind of capsulated way of writing….with a certain line repeated right before he got into the story and then as Holden’s story drew to a close. I read cliff’s notes for fun, and for education.  I still loved books.  But they got me to thinking of them as things and not stories, which might be where the trouble began.
And then college required me to read and be tested on books, an entirely new experience.  Maybe that’s where my curiosity waned?  Anyway, somehow, by age 20 or so, fiction didn’t hold the kind of rapture for me that it used to.  Because it was just a thing?  Who knows.
These days, I’m lucky enough to still read with my mom.  Something about reading out loud rekindles the curiosity that I have for stories.  We read Elsewhere by the adorable Gabrielle Zevin soon after I came home from the trauma place.  I remember ipcking it up at the thrift store, thinking that that’s how I related to everywhere, especially Stockton.  I was a wanderer at heart.  
And then came John Green, and Life of Pi, and some John Grisham novels.  So, so good.
In fact, we have another book to read waiting on her bedside table.  
But I do wish that I could get the same enjoyment from reading that I once had.  Maybe with time.
So there.  That’s my story.


  1. Life of Pi was the first book my younger daughter was able to read after she regained her ability to read with some stabilization…such a great book…I’m glad you mentioned it. And I can’t wait to check out The Indie Spiritualist…sounds like a great read.

    • The images in Life of Pi were just wonderful. The city of fish! 🙂 Yep, the indie spiritualist is also a great book. Cheers!

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