Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Importance of Connections

I wrote a week ago about losing faith in people, and then the next day had a wonderful experience in Half Price. The kids were spread out all over the store (typical). One thing I never stint on is books. Now, I'm not going to buy new hardbacks (or even used ones if they are not pretty cheap), but I pretty generally buy what they want me to. Yes, the library is awesome, but I know just from being myself how important it is to own books. I like having them around me. There are stacks of books around my bathtub. There are stacks upon stacks of books around my bed. My schoolroom - let's not even get started. The doors of my study are closed for a reason. There is something about having the books, especially when you are an re-reader like all of us are. /justification

In any case, the nicest old guy in Half Price saw me with an armload of books and asked if I read Clive Cussler. I told him I hadn't lately, but that I had a lot in high school (Raise the Titanic! anyone?). He told me that he had always passed on him before thanks to the ridiculous covers, but that audio books changed how he approached books, and that one of Cussler's really good ones was available for $3. He led me to it, pulled it off the shelf and handed it to me. Score! I'll take it. He asked me if I had read Devil in a Blue Dress. Yes, super nice older black gentleman, this white chick loves Walter Mosley! We talked books and authors for a few more minutes and then the kids came up. He started throwing out kids' books. He talked about a sad one with dogs named Ann and Dan. Where the Red Fern Grows! I throw back Steinbeck's The Red Pony. And then my nice friend had to go. He temporarily restored my faith in humanity. Then again, he was my father's generation. It was like talking books with my Dad...

Speaking of books. I just read A Life Discarded: 148 Diaries Found in the Trash. I rarely pay full price for any book. I'm all about Kindle Unlimited (search my blog for my previous posts on that gem), Half Price, Daily Deals, garage sales, and any other cheaper alternative to new books. When I read the review of this one a few weeks ago, though, I couldn't help myself. I pre-ordered it. I am a diarist at heart (with running commentary in my head all day every day), even though I stopped being faithful to the paper about a decade ago - something I am remedying as of last week) and I love reading books based on letters and diaries. Maybe I'm a voyeur. In any case, I loved this book. To say anything else would be to spoil it. I am so happy that I got it on Kindle so I couldn't do what I always do and cheat and flip to the back to find out the ending (well, okay, I could have, but it wasn't easy enough to justify it). It was like reading a book with an unreliable narrator. I recommend it.

Why the title of the blog? Because my dad sent me a disturbing email about the cycle of civilizations that depressed me, even as it didn't tell me anything new. He emphasized to me that in these times, personal connections are what is important. He gave me an example of a relationship he has developed with a 30-something year-old man whose mother is one of his clients (my dad runs a St. Vincent de Paul pantry). I understand what he means. I made a connection with the book man. I have a connection with someone I met later in life - a connection that was pretty instantaneous as mentor/mentee, but through circumstance has been allowed to metamorphose into something deeper. There are a few women in my later years with whom I have made (surprising) connections, too. Life really is about the one-on-ones.

I have a couple of random things floating around in my brain, but they are so unrelated that they must wait. Have a good week and try to connect with someone.

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