Sunday, February 09, 2014

Looking for the Guideposts

This week's Tungsten Hippo blog post is a short one with a few ideas for sci-fi and fantasy ebooks to read for Valentine's Day if you, like me, prefer a low key celebration.

In other bookish news, I recently read Cutting for Stone,by Abraham Verghese, which I suppose proves that I do still read things that aren't short- there are many adjectives you can apply to this book, but short is not one of them.

I really liked the book. It is a vast story, in all of the best ways. I do not have the time or energy to write up a comprehensive review, but I definitely recommend it. One thing it does really well is convey the randomness of life and the idea that this means we should love and appreciate the good that comes our way to our fullest capacity. I highlighted one quote that seemed particularly apt:

"It seems we humans never learn. And so we relearn the lesson every generation and then want to write epistles. We proselytize to our friends and shake them by the shoulders and tell them, "Seize the day! What matters is this moment!" Most of us can't go back and make restitution. We can't do a thing about our should haves and our could haves."

This message came at a good time in my life. I am not liking my new commute. I outright hated the commute when it rained one day last week. I am struggling to overcome a combination of my own insecurities and other people's egos at work, and between that and the commute, I find myself dreading the start of each week. I am genuinely torn about what my next step should be.

But.

There are beautiful sunsets when I walk Pumpkin home from school.

Not shown: 6 year old skipping home from school
Petunia is loving life right now. She throws herself into her activities with such a huge smile on her face that you can't help but smile, too, when you see her.

Pumpkin is growing so much, physically, mentally, and even emotionally. I am a bit in awe of the things she can do now, and feel so privileged to get to watch this growth up close.

Every day I spend with my family is a gift. It is one of those sappy truisms that really is profoundly true. As Varghese observes, truly knowing and living this is something that we cannot be taught, we have to learn it for ourselves. Others can give us hints and point out the guideposts, but we have to find our way to them on our own.

Petunia insisted on steering without help. My job was to push the accelerator.
I feel like I am halfway to the path right now. Reading Cutting for Stone when I did pointed me in the right direction. I can see where I want to be. I just need to find the last few guideposts.

3 comments:

  1. I love Verghese's writing--I've been a fan since My Own Country--and am so happy that I read Cutting for Stone. It was so sprawling and epic and yet so intimate, and I haven't stopped thinking about it.

    I've had some of the same struggles, and fortunately some of them have sorted out over the past few months. My long commute remains long, and I'm doing it by car more often than by bus, which I don't like. I miss the bus. But there are reasons for all of this, and it's not like the bus is going to stop running. I'll get back there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Reading this book definitely made me want to read more of his work!

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  2. Zenmoo10:01 AM

    I know what you mean about Petunia - Moo is just the same, she is so beautifully happy and excited about each day. I love 4 - so fun!

    ReplyDelete

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