Books I’m Reading and Other Ramblings

February 17, 2010

I have decided as a little “happiness project” of my own to try to start doing one creative thing each day.  Working on a sewing project, paper project, playing on the piano a little, or writing.  One thing each day to try to create a little beauty, or express myself, or stretch my imagination.  Why?  Because I realized that creative endeavors really fill me up!  And too often they get pushed to the end of my urgent “to do” list.

Today I am writing a blog post as my creative thing of the day.  (Brilliant, eh?)

A small trouble: I don’t feel too inspired to write about anything profound, so instead I shall write about what I’m reading these days.

1.  Left to Tell.  A beautiful story about a Tutsi girl who survived the Rwanda genocide.  A friend lent me the book and two things surprised me.  First, this was a gruesome, sad tale, and yet hopeful!  This courageous woman found strength to survive and to forgive the people who slaughtered nearly everyone in her family and most of her friends.  I had procrastinated reading it because I thought it’d be too depressing, but all throughout I was reminded of the prayer in the Book of Common Prayer that says “God, Your ways give more life than the ways of the world.”  Specifically, the command to forgive others as we have been forgiven.  Not only sounds good, but truly it is the only way to live a joyful life, even in the midst of tragedy.  Second, this girl was a Christian!  The friend who lent it to me is more into being “spiritual,” and not convinced about Jesus’ claims and work.  So I thought it might be a bit on that side of spirituality.  But Immaculee is a Christ follower.  It was heartening to read about, and informative, too, about a time in very recent history that I have to say I was pretty ignorant about.

2. Tiger Rising. I read this on the plane ride home from my trip to Colorado to hang out with girlfriends.  (Fun, fabulous time, by the way!!)  This was a children’s story my oldest daughter recommended for me, and I really enjoyed it.  A simple, carefully worded story about a girl and a boy who discover through their new friendship the importance of being honest about true feelings, even when those feelings are unpleasant – grief and anger.  Believe me, the story is way more compelling than that cheesy-sounding summary I just gave.

3. Simply Christian. I’m still in the middle of this one.  (Trying to increase my reading of non-fiction.)  This book is amazingly well-written and thought-provoking.  It’s billed as our time’s version of Mere Christianity. N.T. Wright goes through some basic descriptions of the longings that humans for a connection with God, and systematically explains how Jesus is the one who carries out this rescue mission to bring us to fulfillment of that longing.

Well, that’s it.  Except to say one more thing:

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday.  I’m not an Anglican these days, but I love the liturgical calendar, and plan to read in my prayer book the service for Ash Wednesday, and start my own private season of penitence and soul-searching.


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