Sunday, January 29, 2006

A young grasshopper.

"Today come to the life-affirming awareness that there's really no such thing as a mistake. It's simply that you'd make a different choice now than the one you did then, even if then was yesterday." - Sarah Ban Breathnach

Yesterday I was touched by an angel - by my book-angel-therapist. I have always been jealous of people who report that they can open a book and come across the exact passage that they need when they need it. Sarah Ban Breathnach talks about going into a used book store and asking to be lead to something wonderful. She usually finds exactly the thing she didn't know she needed. Well I have tried this. I have tried wandering through shops hoping for divine intervention or a kick in the backside but I have always found myself disappointed. But I also have always ended up with a book.

I've got a passion, you see, and it's for books. I love them. I love the way they look, the way they feel, I love the way they smell. There are two places I can go and know that there will be something that delights me. One is an office supply store and the other is a book store. I laughingly call those places "The Mother Ship," because I feel like I belong there amongst writing and writing materials.

So imagine my sadness when I couldn't seem to get the answers I was seeking immediately upon asking. Instead I would be drawn to books and buy them, often sneaking them home and leafing through, or even reading them cover to cover and then feeling slightly let down. Somehow they were just not quite right. So I'd put them on my growing bookshelf(s) and forget about them. Sometimes I would even carry them with me to new homes to put on new bookshelves for no apparent reason.

It was just a few years ago when I began to finally understand how my book-angel-therapist was working. I had purchased a copy of Women Who Run with the Wolves several years before, read through it, and put it away on my shelf. Feeling slightly unhappy one day I found it again and this time I read it cover to cover, making notes and putting in tiny bookmarks. It was exactly what I needed when I needed it! Since then I have realized that many of the books I bought were just entering my life so that they would be there when I was ready for them. Rather than be immediately gratifying, my book-angel-therapist was thinking ahead, knowing me and what exactly I would be ready for someday.

So that is where my head is today as we head out into the world. There is a lovely town near us that is just full of bookstores and lovely shops. I'm excited to see if any books call to me. I know now that you can't rush these things. You can't ask for something and expect it to just happen. You have to trust that all you have is all that you need. Fate and angel-book-therapists work to their own schedule. Young grasshoppers must take it slowly.


chest of drawers said...

I can´t believe you mention Sarah Ban Breathnach!!! I went to my bookshelf last night and instinctively took out a book of hers and decided to read it again as it´s only January and the year is still new. "Simple Abundance, A daybook of Comfort and Joy"...and today you mention her in your blog! On the 27th of January the topic is "the daily dialogue" I see my blog as my daily dialogue, writng me into well-being.
p.s.Book stores and office supply stores are my favourites aswell.

Jamie said...

Reading your post, Meg, I was inspired to randomly open a book and see what I would find. The only book around me at the moment is The Penguin Guide to Punctuation! I thought, "What a drag! What inspiration could I possible find in there?" But I gave it to go and got this sentence,

"Which view should we prefer?"

Wow! That's inspired me to think about the perspectives available and the ones we choose. Who knew that inspiration could be found in a punctuation text?

Thanks for inspiring me today!

Oh, and about the postcard swap, I'm not sure when or how often they do it. I just happened to stumble across it. If I learn anything or see another one, I'll be sure to share!

Alexandra S said...

I decided to see what would happen too after I read your post so I walked over to one of my bookshelves, closed my eyes, and reached for a book. I picked up The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg. Then I closed my eyes and randomly opened a page and put my finger on it. I opened my eyes and this was the sentence under my finger:
"What do you do after school, Benny?"
I have no idea what I'm supposed to do with that!, do you? I guess it doesn't work for me either!
But I have had that experience of rediscovering a book on my shelf that I had not yet read and then it turned out to be perfect for me at that moment.

Look forward to hearing how your day in the city/bigger town was!

Laini Taylor said...

Hi Meg! Okay, I just tried it to and went to my bookshelf and I blindly picked out: The Encyclopedia of Superstitions, and when I opened it, this is what my eyes fell on:
"The hand of a man who has died on the gallows was believed to have strong curative powers. It healed those who were touched by it of many diseases."
Yummy. So... I think I'll be ignoring this as much as possible for the rest of the day and avoiding cemeteries!
But I am also a major book and bookstore junkie, and here in Portland we have the most amazing store: Powell's Books - it's four stories and an entire city block and it is a paradise. I think it's a good thing for you you fell in love with an Englishman, so your bookstores will be in the correct language!
Have a great day!

tara dawn said...

I frequently will feel drawn to a book and not know why. I have come to not question this, and just embrace it, trusting that at some point these books will provide me with what I need. Like you, the little book angel-therapist does not often work for me immediately. It is often when I do not even realize I need something that I find it staring up at me from the beloved pages. I have given up all hope of understanding the process...I just go with it now.
Like you, I absolutely LOVE books. I love to read of course, but it is so much more than that. It is the books themselves that I love most of all. My tiny apartment is overflowing with them...but what comfort and bliss I find in their company!
Every day now, I read your blog and find myself wandering through your tiny village with you...combing the beaches and today venturing out to the world of books! Your writing is so inspirational for me, and I am so grateful to have found you.
Hope you have a wonderful day!

Frankie said...

What an amazing, inspiring post. I too, feel the same way about books and bookstores. They always make me feel like I'm "home," and you're so right in that things can mean different things to us at different times. So many of my favorite books meant nothing to me the first time around and are now treasures that I hold dear to my heart. I'm so happy that I've found your blog and get to share in your wonderful words. They've made me so happy. Thank you!