Sunday, April 26, 2009

I Thought I Could

I really thought that I could get away with only posting about books that I find in thrift stores on this here blog. I convinced myself that I could spend most of my time reading said thrift store books (because I have so many of 'em). Instead, what I've found is that more books seem to find their way into my life through other means. Then, I have to read those books and neglect the ones that I find at the thrift stores. Such a sad story, but true.

The thrift store books have been left alone, sitting on top of shelves or armoires, waiting for their turn in my life. This fact, dear readers, contributes to the lack of postings recently.

Yes, I've still been reading. Straight Up and Dirty, by Stephanie Klein because it was chosen by other members in my book club. And we got to sit and chat it up with the author, as she lives in Austin and was kind enough to meet us at a little not-so-good but fancy looking bistro here in Austin.

I've put aside La Batarde because I had to hurry up and read Straight Up and Dirty. I have to admit that I miss Miss. Leduc from La Batarde. I keep thinking of her and want more. At last, I thought I could pick it back up and continue where I left off. Wrong. Foiled again!

Yesterday, I met a very interesting (and I use interesting in the true sense of the word, not the interesting bad kind of way) local author who had a couple of books that she was promoting at the Maifest at the German-Texas Heritage Society. Her name is Ute Carson. She wrote a book called In Transit, which is about a sexually abused boy whose mother just died and he goes in transit to make his way through a relationship with a woman called Blanca. I just started to read it and so that's really all I can offer up at this moment.

Writing a book on my own childhood sexual abuse, I simply couldn't pass this one up. I've been pondering this whole sexual abuse issue over and over in my mind lately. Partly because it's an issue that is always on my mind- it lives in me and will never go away, no matter how much I heal. And, it's also because I'm working out the details in my mind about how I can present my story to others. And I wonder: Is it too heavy of a subject to write about? Will people even want to read something that weighs so heavily on them? Should I write it as a fictional piece rather than an autobiographical one? Should I even care about what others will like and just write it as therapy for myself? Ah, my mind never shuts down, people.

I sat and listened to the remarks that people were making yesterday about the subject of In Transit. One older man, after hearing the description from another, made a comment that it's just not something for him. Another younger woman glazed over when it was being described to her. Me, I will share my tale of abuse with anyone who wants to hear it. I'll also gladly listen when someone needs to talk. It's a heavy subject, but that's probably one of the reasons why there are so many cases of child abuse. If only more people could learn to listen, to talk, things could then begin to change. It wouldn't be swept under the rug and not talked about. Yesterday opened up a whole new perspective for me.

Now, readers, do you see why I have to share what I think and feel about this new book that made its way into my life? Are you willing to listen with an open heart and open mind about a story of a sexually abused man trying to figure out where he stands in life?

I realize that keeping an open mind is sometimes better than sticking to our guns.

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Mood Lifter

Funny how an action like reading a book can make me feel excited again. Yes, it's strange that finishing a book and finding another that connects you in the same way can begin to lift the veil of numbness that has settled on me over the past few years.

Sometimes in life we get a little down and out. And that's alright. The important thing about these ups and downs is that we come back out on top. For some people, it takes medication. For me, the revitalisation comes from connecting with a dead writer. Yes, leave it to me to find a strange way to come out of a little depression.

As a child who spent many years being sexually abused, it's taken its toll on my life in many areas, which I won't go into details about- at least not today. The truth of the matter is that words can be a great therapy. And this is what I'm learning from Violette Leduc's writing. I've found some excitement again in what I'm reading. I've found some inspiration in the words that she's written. Finally a sense of who I am comes back.

See what a little reading can do for your life. Who needs prozac?

Want some of what I've got? Pick up a copy of La Batarde and throw away that bottle of pills in your medicine chest.