Entering our eighth week of shelter-in-place and I have been reading more. However, the pendulum swung from not reading as much as usual as SIP began to reading far too much, reading to avoid present circumstances.
Always slow to transition, I am slowly developing healthier rhythms. I’m finally sleeping most nights during mostly normal hours and life, while obviously uncertain, looks brighter. The spring sunlight on bursting blooms helps.
And I remain ever so grateful for my packed-to-the-limits bookshelves, and our online library system, so that no matter how long this season of life should last, I will never run out of reading material.
I had never heard of the author or this book before a friend brought it to my doorstep.
Consequently, I almost gave it up. To start the narrative felt choppy until somewhere after her childhood it hit its stride. The author is also name-droppy, and since the only names I recognized were the Kennedys, I had no context for several key characters. I guess I’m just not a celebrity memoir fan.
Even in the darkest of times–during war when people are freezing and starving to death, and when failing health steals our current reality and replaces it with long-ago memories–life’s beauties are available for those who choose to see.
I wanted a photo book to accompany the novel’s descriptions of the art, but instead had to use my imagination (and Google), though imagination hits straight at the heart of the book.
I like wine. I live 45 minutes from California’s famous wine growing regions in Napa and Sonoma. Until COVID-19, I worked at a wine bar.
And I’ve become aware of the growing trend of sober curiosity, of upscale mocktails, of dry bars. As a vegetarian, I know what it’s like to walk on the other side of the street from “everyone” else. I wanted to know more.
This book is a vulnerable personal memoir mixed with science and self-help. It’s raw and real, gritty and practical. I especially appreciated her section on mindfulness, or what to do with all the Big Feelings people drink to avoid.
Formulaic and predictable, and still entertaining.
This bit felt prophetic:
“We are now perched on a strange cusp of history…a time when the world feels like it’s been turned upside down, and nothing is quite as we imagined. But uncertainty is always a precursor to sweeping change; transformation is always preceded by upheaval and fear. I urge you to place your faith in the human capacity for creativity and love, because these two forces, when combined, possess the power to illuminate any darkness.”
Women have been taught systemically to keep quiet and not take up space. Men have been taught to expect that from women. All of us have been taught to be suspicious of women who speak up and take up all the space they please. Because it’s in the air we breath, we don’t even recognize our bias. Glennon has written a beautiful memoir of what she’s learned in the last few years and how she’s living her best wild life.
“I am a human being, meant to be in perpetual becoming. If I am living bravely, my entire life will become a million deaths and rebirths. My goal is not to remain the same but to live in such a way that each day, year, moment, relationship, conversation, and crisis is the material I use to become a truer, more beautiful version of myself. The goal is to surrender, constantly, who I just was in order to become who this next moment calls me to be.”
“Brave does not mean feeling afraid and doing it anyway.
“Brave means living from the inside out. Brave means, in every uncertain moment, turning inward, feeling for the Knowing, and speaking it out loud.”
This one describes me to a T!
“I am a sensitive, introverted woman, which means that I love humanity but actual human beings are tricky for me. I love people but not in person. For example, I would die for you but not, like…meet you for coffee. I became a writer so I could stay at home alone in my pajamas, reading and writing about the importance of human connection and community. It is an almost perfect existence.”
After a couple of heavy reads, I wanted a YA to cleanse the palate and found this available for library download (thank God for library downloads during shelter-in-place!). It took a while to pick up, as at first I thought the authors had too much agenda. About halfway, though, I found myself hooked and from there it was a quick ride to a satisfying and not-too-neat finish.
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