Week 6, by Kimberly Prendergast
Here we go!
Let me start with: all of this book speaks to me. Therefore, it is really hard to pick only one piece to focus on. I think I will be re reading and digesting this for a long time. This week I am really focused on the section “The Energy of Hope;” in particular, the writing prompt that asked us to reflect on a reading and identify one thing that calls us back to it.
Of course, I didn’t follow all the rules of the writing prompt, but I have a book that continually calls to me in life. (Tracey here: no rules! Do what you can!) It is my favorite book, A Prayer for Owen Meany. I loved this book when I first read it, despite balling my eyes out for the last 100 pages. I won’t give too much away except to say it calls to me periodically, when I can see and feel the connections in my life from the past to the present. It is like having an AHA moment or what I call an Owen Meany moment. It occurs when I realize why I had to go through something, or change something in my life and all of a sudden it all makes sense.
One such moment occurred in 2007. That year my youngest daughter was born with a heart defect that required open heart surgery. During those months prior to the surgery some connections that gave me hope were things like support from friends that had lost children. They understood my pain and I felt like understanding their personal stories of overcoming fear and loss helped me to be strong when I otherwise was not. One of those friends gave me a book about the Virgin of Guadalupe. Its a book about miracles. When we went to schedule the surgery it happened to be scheduled for the Virgen de Guadalupe day. It was one of those moments.
In that moment, I think of the character’s eccentricities and the tiny white arms and how he never lost hope. I guess it gives meaning to my experiences to think that the negative ones did not occur for nothing. It goes back to the age old saying that everything happens for a reason and that is comforting to me. It is also comforting to think that other people, at least some other people, also have that belief. This gives me hope.
Nepo writes “That Principle says that healing takes place in the presence of another.” I suppose that sometimes that presence is not literal but conveyed and connected through art: writing, music, theatre. Owen Meany tells my story in a way; and I tell your story and you tell mine. In the song “Killing Me Softly” from Jesus Christ Superstar the artist sings:
Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words…
On page 101, Nepo asks where we are on our lifelong quest to fit things together. I suppose this is how I fit it together. I make the connections to others, to art, to self and in those connections I make meaning and sense out of the world.
What struck you about this week’s reading?
Save the date
What: Mid-way Zoom meeting
When: Sunday, October 24 at 1 pt/3 ct/4 et
Zoom link will be emailed to you ahead of time. Reminder: there will be no reading assignment or post for the week of Oct. 21 so you can spend some time that week thinking about what you’d like to discuss on the Zoom.
The duration of the zoom is dependent on the conversation, but you should feel free to hop off when necessary.
- Week #7 Living a Making through Drifting in Immensity, Joan Sherwood, Oct. 14
- Week #8 <<<Break>>> pause to prepare for Zoom discussion, Oct. 21
- Week #9 Listening through Love Your Window, Eva Tsoureka, Oct. 28
A link will remain here to week 1 in case anyone wants to review the spearheading guidance. Week 1.