Kelly In Catty

This blog is Kell's attempt to keep in touch with friends far away who complain that I don't e-mail nearly enough.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Tagged: I'm It

HP tagged me to answer the following intensely personal questions about books in my life... So here goes:

ONE BOOK THAT CHANGED MY LIFE:
I know this is going to sound hokey to say that a self-help book changed my life, but a book called BOUNDARIES really turned a corner for me. I read it at a time when I was being pressed, pulled, pushed, manipulated, and otherwise annoyed. The basic premise of the book is to teach where other people end and where I begin - that perimeter was constantly being breeched in my life...

What really got me about this book was that (ahem) - when I started exercising my boundaries as they should be, people reacted EXACTLY how authors Cloud & Townsend said they would... People got angry, but I was expecting it. I began to see what I learned in this book as "My Plan." (I'm big on plans now... Not necessarily planning, per se, but I always feel better when I have a plan).

I've given so many copies of this book to friends who I've seen in similar situations that I've lost count.

ONE BOOK THAT I'VE READ MORE THAN ONCE
Oh, dear - there are so many. I guess I'll resort to my childhood and say I read the stuffing out of my Little Golden Book, "The Three Little Pigs." I'm not sure what fascinated me about the book - but I do remember thinking that I probably wouldn't have LIKED the third (smart) little pig - but respected him.

ONE BOOK I WOULD WANT ON A DESERT ISLAND
I'd take the Bible with me - because lately, I've decided to read through the Bible end to end - and find the more I read, the more questions I have - which is what good literature should do.

ONE BOOK THAT MADE ME LAUGH
"The Brothers K" by David James Duncan - made me laugh, made me cry, made me like baseball for awhile. This book was so vivid, so interesting, and so true to life that I've given it multiple times as gifts, and actually found myself reading it aloud to an artist friend in DC (while he was matting pictures).

The reason the book made me laugh was that it's so honest - sometimes in an amused way - sometimes just because what he was writing about was so very close to home:

Here's an excerpt: The father is an athiest who was *this close* to becomming a professional baseball player - but lost a thumb in a work injury. One of his sons, Peter, is becoming something of a mystic:

Papa: "I undestand you're quitting baseball fro a reason. A religious feeling, some important kind of searching. But Nord and Donny, your teammates, their folks, they don't see that at all. To them you look more like some crazy farmer burning down his barn and his big herd of cows, then bragging about how little he owns."

"That THEIR barns are burning!" Peter cried. "That's what I was trying to say! Because when Gautama, before he became Buddha, saw old age and sickness and death, he said the world and everything in it looked like it was going up in flames. And that's what I feel too, Papa! For years I've felt it. So I tried to explain, to say why I didn't want their stupid trophy. I tried to be HONEST, Papa. What more could I do?"

"Less," Papa said.

Peter scowled. "I don't understand."

"You said the trophy's stupid, so you gave it back. But you also say Buddha is compassionate, and that you want to be like him. Doesn't add up, Pete. If the trophy really was stupid and they gave it to Buddha, wouldn't he keep it so nobody else would get saddled with a stupid thing?"

Peter had grown very quiet.

Papa said, "Those coaches in there think YOU'RE stupid too, you know. But they still had the honesty to give their Best Player trinket to their best player. And you insulted that honesty by giving the trinket back."

By now, Peter looked crushed...... They turned away from the ball field and started slowly back toward the parking lot. But the silence was heavy, and as they moved in under the streetlights and glanced at each other, Peter stopped cold, and said, "What's with us, Papa?"

"It's our barn, I think," Papa mummured.

"Huh?" As usual, the preacher hadn't taken in his own sermon.

ONE BOOK THAT MADE ME CRY
Jon Hassler books make me cry in the good way - In "A Green Journey," his lead character, Agatha, is a woman who devoted herself to the Catholic Church, and to teaching in a Catholic school. She never married - and in her senior years, read a quote in a Catholic magazine by an Irish national who was campaigning for a return to Catholic roots... She wrote to thank him for his words, and soon, the two became pen pals.

After years of very personal corrospondence, they fell in love with each other - and she flew to Ireland to meet him. What made me cry - was after all the years of being alone, and thinking she'd found her soulmate, James O'Hannon wasn't exactly who she thought he was. (I can't give it away - because I think everyone should read Hassler... Granted, they should start with "Staggorford," but everyone should read Hassler!)

ONE BOOK I WISH HAD BEEN WRITTEN:
I'll call it the "Sacred Girl Book," which explains how things are, what to do, and the wisdom behind good choices. I once told Trixie that "We're ALL the Sacred Girl Book," but to date, no one's written it down.

ONE BOOK I WISH HAD NEVER BEEN WRITTEN
I usually don't read these books - or at least never finish them - I will say they include tell-alls, bitter memoirs, and instructional books by basket cases.

ONE BOOK I'M CURRENTLY READING
I'm reading "The Lord of the Rings Trilogy," because I read "The Hobbit," years ago, and always felt I should read the rest of the story.

ONE BOOK I'VE BEEN MEANING TO READ
"The Name of the Rose" by Umberto Eco - I have it - At one point I even started it -but need to get back to.

NOW TAG 5 PEOPLE:

DF
Sass
Dakota Knight
Katie (because I haven't heard from her in awhile and miss her - no guilt, Katie!)
Tiecen

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4 Comments:

  • At 7:29 PM, Anonymous DF said…

    Some of these choices really resonated with me... Boundaries, for one. I've been meaning to do some research on bullies and the people who get bullied. I have always been bullied, from the time I was in third grade all the way up to today, and I only recently started doing something about it in an intentional fashion.

    Also, everyone keeps talking about Jon Hassler. I want to get to him. Maybe I'll put a book of his on my birthday list.

    My tag is up here:

    http://myth.typepad.com/breakfast/2006/08/tagged_by_kelly.html

     
  • At 3:44 PM, Anonymous Katie said…

    Have I been tagged yet?
    How does this work?

     
  • At 10:35 AM, Blogger Trixie said…

    I liked your posting. I still owe her mine.

    I think there should be a collaborative effort on writing the sacred girl book?

    When should we start?

     
  • At 12:03 PM, Blogger Kell said…

    Katie - you're tagged now - you can post it here! Yay, Katie's back! I've missed you!

     

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