February 6, 2013 § 4 Comments
I’ve come to believe that I do not choose books.
Instead, the books choose me, or rather, the Universe picks the books, which in turn pick me.
When I look at the list of the last year’s reads, their purpose is so obvious (if it weren’t so late I’d go into all of that).
Today, my Libran curse, the zodiac sign that I was delivered into at birth, tipped and teetered on its metaphorical and literal scales.
Indecisiveness was painfully present. Do I run? Do I write? Do I cry? Do I smile? Do I believe? Do I quit?
Even the weather acted like a Libra, asking, “Is it winter? Is it spring?”
The biting cold morning turned just beautiful by mid-afternoon; freezing again when I went to collect the mail at sun-down.
In my headphones, I steadied myself by listening to the Life of Pi, by Yann Martel.
Chapter 16 was so illuminating, describing God and the Universe and religion and the answers, that I rewound and replayed it twice.
Piscine (the narrator and protagonist) decided (as a boy), to become a practicing Christian, Muslim and Hindu.
Upon discovery of this, his wise men, men with whom he’d secretly built relationships, who had taught him their ways, told him that he couldn’t be all three, that they have nothing in common, and that it was impossible for them to be practiced together.
And yet Piscine felt strongly that they could be; he loved God and wanted to know God, choosing to be Christened in church, praying to Allah on a small, rolled-out floor rug, and continuing to feel at home in Hindu temples like the first one his mother took him to as a baby.
He was not indecisive about this, the most sacred understanding.
In all of today’s Libran swaying, it was the only thing that made any sense at all.
How can that be?
Do you choose books or do they choose you? Have you read Life of Pi?
March 29, 2012 § 9 Comments
My sister converted to Islam less than four years ago.
I hadn’t seen her since my girls were a month old and our relationship has been tumultuous as she’s transitioned into her new life.
I was scared for her.
I didn’t understand why she would choose something that was so misunderstood in our country. I viewed the head covering as an adverse action toward the rights of women. I was confused and worried. I thought only the worst.
Her new life is simple and busy. Her children are happy and healthy.
She’s happy, which is all anyone wants for the people they love.
I asked lots of questions of her and her husband, a Bangladeshi Imam. Once I got past his dress I found him to be a genuinely lovely person. He’s a good father. His beliefs are not so different from some of my own.
So, what was I really scared of?
They left this morning and I got call from Peach as soon as they drove away.
There were no tears. It was a good trip.
I think we are all relieved.