Joy for Beginners. Joy. There's something about those three little letters that just make you smile... whether you're talking to your oldest sister (my sister Joy turns 82 in February) or singing a holiday song, there's something about the word "joy" that makes you happy. When my friend, Mimi from Seattle, introduced me to Erica Bauermeister, little did I know how much I would love Ms. Bauermeister's writing.
I read The School of Essential Ingredients and it blew me away! Brilliant. The same can be said for this book. So rich. Images fill your mind when you read Erica Bauermeister's words... "Sara's kitchen was a chicken farm of chaos..." or "The little girl was talking happily, the flow of her words bright and shiny, like candy falling from a pinata" or "...the ways their gazes floated over the crowd and then caught at the strangeness of her solitary situaion." Page after page, I had to stop, think, and ponder the beauty of her writing.
This book focuses on Kate's survival after being ill. At a celebratory dinner, her six friends challenge her to start anew by going river rafting... facing a fear! She, in turn, gets to choose the challenge that each of her friends will take. Today a friend posted the following... The phrase, "Do not be afraid" is written in the Bible 365 times. That's a daily reminder to live everyday being, "Fearless!" I thought it was a perfect parallel to this book.
That's what this book is about... being fearless. Listen to these words from the prologue, "But life is persistent, slipping into your conscious sideways, catching you with a fleeting moment of color, the unexpected and comforting smell of a neighbor's dinner cooking as you walk on a winter evening, the feeling of warm water running between your fingers as you wash the dishes at night. There is nothing so seductive as reality." Reality. Fearlessness. Two things that create an interesting juxtaposition.
You should read this one! Why? Because it's brilliantly written and might just make you ask a few questions. The whole time I was reading, I was thinking about both my personal life and my professional life. Personally, I think there are some things I need to get done... get back to exercise, start swimming again, and learn to kayak . Professionally, I think I need to stand up for my beliefs... get a little pissy, take some action, and challenge the status quo. And... wait for Ms. Bauermeister's next book!