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Saturday, October 31, 2009

As difficult as the last two weeks have been — and they have been so difficult as to cause me to question just about everything Iíve spent the last twenty years doing — Iíve somehow managed to find time to read. Thatís maybe the answer to the question. I work so I have food to eat, a roof overhead, and time to read novels like Labor Day, by Joyce Maynard.

You know me. Iím not going to spend a lot of time dragging you through the narrative. Itís almost (but not quite) as bad as telling you what I dreamed last night (and you can be thankful that I never remember my dreams). Itís just about on a par with someone telling me the entire plot of a movie theyíve just seen, or what happened on a television show I donít watch. (Oops. A little guilty of that myself, but on the other hand, nobody has to follow me on Twitter if they donít want to.)

What I will say is that this book has some things I like. It has fragile people finding unconventional ways to cope, and it has people making unlikely connections with each other. It has a strong and engaging narrative voice. It has meditations on what it is we do to shape our world and how we affect the way others survive their own rocky journey.

Hereís what I think. There are people in this world who only need a chance. All they need is for someone to believe in them, or even just to get out of their way, and they will make things better for everyone around them. The problem is that we donít always make the right decisions, either because weíre selfish or because we just donít know any better. But the best part of us will always try. Weíll try to get it right the first time, and failing that, weíll try to fix it the best we can. Thatís about all we can expect from ourselves.

19 October 2009

Kylie and Aiden (and a green pumpkin).

All of that isnít specifically spelled out in the book. Itís just a story about people who are thrown together by circumstance, and how the merest chance can send lives spinning in directions they never anticipated. But mostly itís just a story, and one worth reading (even if I didnít really have time).

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