I don't know if I can write this review. I really don't. It makes me feel extremely vulnerable, to contemplate putting so much of my heart out on view for people on the internet to see. I also don't know if I have the words.
Reading this book was both devastating and
awe-inspiring. I was moved beyond words, particularly when I started
reading it, started to let the words wash over me. When I realized how
familiar they were, not the words, but the meanings behind them. It felt
like something I'd been swimming in my whole life and never realized
Let me try to explain. I was raised by two people who found
great meaning in this book. My mother read from it at my wedding
reception. I don't mean they tried to make me read it, because they
never did. Or conform to anything in it, because they never did. But
having read it, I can see so many of the lessons they tried to teach me,
the values they held dear, the ways they made sense of the world
reflected in these pages. The way that they thought about love, and
children, and work, and the world, I can see how this book was important
to them. Whether they took inspiration from it, or found it a
reflection of what they already believed, I'm not sure. I could ask my
mother. I may.
I can't ask my father anymore. And reading this
book made me miss him so much. Not that I don't already, every day for
the past year and a half. The wonderful thing about reading this was
that it took me out of the memories of those last few terrible weeks,
and back to all the times I had before pancreatic cancer took him from
It made me think of riding in the car, having the front seat
beside him while the rest of the family slept in the back, and talking
about finding, not the work you love, but the work that you can't not
do, the things that are so important that you would do them even if you
It made me remember how gently my parents pushed
me to be an independent, reasonably sane adult, gave the room to make
mistakes, never thought they owned me, but were always there when I
It made me realize how much of this book I already
carry in me, how much of my heart is already out there on someone else's
pages. That's a terrifying and wonderful thing.
So there is my heart, it's out there on display. I read this book, and could barely breathe.