Sunday, September 17, 2006

Recommended Fall Reading.


I'm reading this book, "The Year of Magical Thinking."
It's amazing.
I cried in public (at the park) while reading it today.
That, my friends, is unprecedented behavior for this Virgo...granted, I had sunglasses on and was far away from other human beings...but there were small bugs in the grass all around me...making me very conscious of myself the entire time.
It is basically (so far...I'm half-way through it) about this woman's grief process in the year following her husband's death...I know...not totally uplifting, but seriously good.

Here's a little taste to pique your interest:
"Life changes fast.
Life changes in an instant.
You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends."

Isn't that the truth? We all believe-on some level-that there is no fragility to this existence of ours. That life is not a gift but a given, but the truth is that everything is terribly, frighteningly in delicate balance. We take love for granted when we have it. We take friends for granted when they are with us. We take time for granted when we have it. We don't take enough time because we are always reaching for the next thing. All of this makes me want to slow down even more...really absorb each minute of this amazing life we are given. Be more patient with myself, with life, with all of it. Be more present with everything and everyone in my life. Imagine what life could be like if more people dared to live in the present...fully concsious and aware in the present? Amazing, I would imagine...pretting friggin' amazing.

9 comments:

k said...

maryc - i completely love this book & am so glad you're reading it. it's so gorgeously written and even though she doesn't give overly illustrative accounts - it's very matter-of-fact - that makes the events even more meaningful and poignant. yay didion.

Anne-Davnes said...

Yeah. I can relate to those pivotal events - those instances where you're given a new understanding of things, where something happens to change your perception, and change it forever. Grief is beautiful in that way. It gives you a new chance at growth. I think we miss those growth opportunities a lot. More than half the time, they are standing there right in front of me. And I'mm too busy looking behind my shoulder at the past and longing for something that's gone - OR - I'm looking too far ahead into the future for escape from the present.

But the present is the REAL gift, isn't it?

Roger said...

This post about living is alot like when I think about my breathing. In and out, in and out... you know what I'm talking about. And using that analogy, grief seems to be a lot like hyperventilating. And then, it seems to me that when you try to go head-on in trying (daring) to live in the present, its like trying to hold your breath. So I think what's important is to learn to appreciate your life's natural rhythm as it is, and breath as you were meant to. 'Cause even that freak David Blaine couldn't hold his breath for that long. And did you see his hands? Gross.

MCALDWELLC said...

Roger: I had to google David Blaine to figure out who he is...and I'm not sure if he was trying to be the first human to live in a snow globe or what...but he does appeart to be a freak with gross hands.

I also agree that living as you are supposed to IS a lot like breathing...following that natural rythym of life...and I think many of us, as Anne suggested:
"are too busy looking behind my shoulder at the past and longing for something that's gone - OR - I'm looking too far ahead into the future for escape from the present. "

We live in such an age of anxiety...think about all of these "terror alerts," or just the friggin NEWS...it's all about how unsafe we are, how we need to protect ourselves...we live in an age of GREAT uncertainty which makes going with the natural flow of life incredibly difficult...

minus five said...

tania said this book was stupid and that you're stupid for reading it. you might want to address this with her.

MCALDWELLC said...

yeah, well, I am going to auction off my friendship with YOU and Tania this weekend in Hiram.

Tania Rochelle said...

Hey, Mary, are you finished with this book yet? Think you could write a new post sometime this year?

minus five said...

mary: you won't get much for either.

a/ok said...

I'm adding this to my list, after the current almost finished one on the nightstand, and it's replacement that's on-deck as well.

Thanks for the suggestion.