Sunday, May 29, 2016

378, 377, 376, 375, 374, 373: First Impressions: Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed

I read this book on my birthday.

This book is a collection of musings, reflections, and quotes by Cheryl Strayed. The book begins with a very endearing little treatise on the importance of quotations and how she held on to them through life. A pithy filament of wisdom nourishing her, keeping her strong, and in a strange way, even letting her be.

There are certain pieces that I particularly liked - the way society absolves itself of taking on the responsibility of a sad person. We tell that person to 'get help', instead of softening our own gaze. There is another part she talks about how we ought to be a little kind - just a little bit if being a whole lot kind feels like having a toe-nail pulled out - if we are walking away from someone. You can make your decisions and stand by them, but you ought to be kind enough to still be a friend to the ones you leave. There is a humane touch to trite advice - you will go on the way you will go on. You will clutch at any little filament of hope or you will wade in despair and get out of breath. But you will continue little by little. Then you either get past the dark hole or you come to a place where you can claim the light.

The book, I felt, was an invitation to to be kind. That, incidentally, is an invocation to be brave.

Since I read it on my birthday, on a day when I look forward and back on what this stuff is all about, there is one piece that resonated. It is a gentle kiss to all the 'What ifs'.

"I'll never know and neither will you about the life you didn't choose. We'll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn't carry us.

There's nothing to do but salute it from the shore."

Definitely a book to have on your bedside. There is a restfulness in there that one can only be enriched by.


1 comment:

Geetashree Chatterjee said...

I like the quote Mukta at the end of the post................beautiful and I think the wisdom behind those words is for all of us to carry with us whenever we feel that the other side of the river is greener.