Saturday, June 28, 2008

What now?...maybe a book review...

Ann Patchett is an excellent writer who has won many awards for her fiction and non-fiction. Did I mention that we attended the same undergraduate institution? While I have never read her fiction, her book Truth & Beauty chronicling her friendship with poet Lucy Grealy, was a book that I drank up the summer before I began Sarah Lawrence college. I stood at the front of the movie theater taking tickets and in the lulls I would pick up the book and read. A patron approached one day and commented on how much she loved the book, and I proudly told her I was about to attend the author's Alma Mater. I was ready to go.

Four years later, at graduation rehearsal, I received a copy of her essay, What Now?, an extension of her graduation speech. I was not the same person I had been four years ago, and as I continue to traverse the maze I surprise myself every day. I don't know where or what the maze ends with but her essay soothes my growing fears. I recommend this book to anyone who has hit a dead end, a fork in the road, or even those who seemingly have it together. 

"Even if you have it all together you can't know where you're going to end up. There are too many forces, as deep and invisible as tides, that keep us bouncing into places where we never thought we'd wind up. Sometimes the best we can hope for is to be graceful and brave in the face of all of the changes that will surely come."

I think I'm ready to be swept away.

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