This is the third time I’ve been to the Cambria Public Library on my trip to nowhere, my pause, before the next step. I am surrounded by masters. I am in a sanctuary of accomplished and one-hit (maybe) wonders and writers who got their words noticed by a publisher and now they wait to be consumed. Thumbs up? Thumbs down? What makes one book worthy and another book destined for the recycling bin?
As a former English Language Arts teacher and journalist, I know good stories are about structure, about the peaks and valleys, about relatable characters and settings, a writer’s style, and for many of us readers, the lesson so we can possibly apply the protagonist’s wisdom to our own lives.
As I’ve mentioned, I’m writing a book called “Fourteen Summers”. It is loosely based on my life. Right now, I’m harvesting experiences and ideas, paying attention to things I brisked past without a second thought. I am noticing things like the humming air conditioner and the young homeless guy in the corner, the same man I saw yesterday outside the library, lounging in the sun, tapping into the free WiFi because the building was closed. I have conversations with older people, and younger folk. I am aware of my weary, camping bones and the fact that a siren just sliced the quiet and yet a month ago I was numb to those commonplace shrieks.
All these fictional and non-fiction characters aisled next to me, bidding me to join their ranks. Imposing. But welcoming.
I picked up a few more $2 novels books for my weeks ahead, books that have been on the best seller list, that I finally have time to learn from. I am currently reading a Pulitzer Prize winning book, “Never Let Go”, that I have been patient with. I’m not loving it, but at some point soon I hope to better understand what other readers appreciated.
Which brings me to the topic of letting go.
I let go of material items. Now, it is time to let go of a human. My ex. We’ve been divorced for 15 years. I have loved. I have cared. And I still will. But he has given me permission to move on. He wants to figure out his life. Without me.
You might think, “Wow, what a gift!” And it is. And I know. But it is strange. Because I think he needs me. But he has made it very clear, he doesn’t.
I am not needed.
By any other human.
Everyone is independent, self-reliant. The only soul who needs me is my Monet, whom I’ve learned to channel my 24/7 love. Just me and my girl, travelling along the road of life.
I’ve read about people like me. I’ve admired them. So independent.
I’m a modern-day pioneer woman, on the road in my covered VW Eurovan Camper wagon. As a little girl, I always related to “Little House on the Prairie” books. Laura was me. Well, it’s a lot different from those days, but I am forging a path across the prairie of a new America, one that has goodness, one that has dangers, one that has hope.
I love it how books started my life, I let go of them for a bit, and now they have returned. This quote by my favorite authors, Haruki Murakami, sums it up: “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
What books are you reading? I’d love to add them to my list.
Safe travels everyone!