Monday, August 29, 2011


Just finished reading Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.  Oh. Wow.  There are so many ways in which that book has profoundly changed my thought processes.  I'm not usually big on war stories, and wasn't exactly excited to start reading this book, but since I haven't once attended a meeting of the book club I joined in March, I figured I had better read the damn book.  I am so, so grateful that I did.

The timing for this was perfect, because my grandfather recently passed away and I couldn't help but see him scattered throughout the chapters of this book.  No, my grandfather was not an Olympic runner, nor was he held in a POW camp under unbelievably horrific conditions.  But he was a young man, far younger than myself now, who was sent to, and fought, in a war.  Who handled intricate, complicated machinery having no particular background or passion for such engineering.  Who learned how to be directly responsible for the preservation of life:  his own, as well as that of his peers and leaders.

And although there are a million different tangents that my mind wants to take when opening up this topic, what I really want to focus on, for now, is how to incorporate this whole new breadth of perception and strength that I feel after completing the book.  The raw sensation of being wholly present, of recognizing the power of actively listening to my own creative, living process.  As I have previously written, I have the tendency to rush through things; to feel inspired and then either try to get to the quick of the project, or shelve it indefinitely.  But the most frustrating part about this cycle is the feeling of powerlessness that remains for every project that ends up incomplete, untouched, or abandoned.  The inaction, or listlessness, is so subtle that I don't realize how often I put something off, or "forget" to follow through with an idea.

So one of the many, many lessons I have taken away from this book is to recognize the impact that my inaction makes in the grander view.  That the process is fueled by presence of mind, yes, but it is created through the labor of the body.  To remember that all the material we need is out there, it's just up to us to gather our own personal reserve.

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