Thursday, September 27, 2012
The Traveler's Gift: Part III
Here is my last installment of The Travelers Gift. “My life-my personality, my habits, even my speech-is a combination of the books I choose to read, the people I choose to listen to, and the thoughts I choose to tolerate in my mind” page 103. Again, the character Anne Frank speaks such wise words for someone so very young. All of these areas can affect how positive or negative we are and how much we wallow in suffering. If we surround ourselves with happy ideas, people, books and thoughts, we will be happy. If we don’t, well, you get the idea.
Many years ago, I joined Oprah Winfrey’s book club. One of the women I worked with encouraged me to join. This gave us a common ground of chit chat that was positive. Besides, I love to read so it was a win/win in my thoughts. I read her hand me down books and I read one classic with the internet group. I love doing that because to discuss people’s ideas of literature is a ton of fun for me. Naturally, I started reading A Million Little Pieces by James Frey before all the controversy. I became so depressed. This guy was messed up. Finally after making it about halfway through, I put the book down. My mood had plummeted and the reading was not worth it.
One author has a huge affect on me. I still read his material from time to time because he is good and a master: Stephen King. Every time I pick up his books, I delight in them. However, I start dreaming horrible dreams. About two years ago, I read his book on writing. I thought it would be safe since the topic wasn’t horror. Wrong. At the end of the book, he gave a writing assignment. My words started quite innocent and calm. As is usual, the content took the twist of fantasy. The next thing I knew, I started writing a scene which scared me to death. I had to rein it in to keep myself “safe.” Thinking about it, Poe can do the same thing.
Obviously, books, people, and thoughts can make our journey to holiness more difficult. I would never even consider banning books because the freedom of press is far too important to me. Also, within our capabilities we can’t ban people completely either because we are to witness and love them. However, do be cautious in your dealings with them. I will continue to read edgy material and I can’t avoid all people, but I can set up defenses by praying. And with all things, moderation is the key.
Blessings to you all.