Sunday, July 2, 2017

No coincidence, no story.

I haven't read a good book in a long time.  I haven't wanted to, not since finishing my Mad Man binge, and my Orange is the New Black binge followed closely by yesterday's Gypsy binge.

No book on my Kindle could pull my attention from the pieces of things to read that scatter across my screens refreshing every 30 seconds.

Mom did her best to help.  This past Mother's Day I sent my mother exactly what you should get a person who has everything: 2 books and a funny art frog for her garden.  A week later,  Mom sent me a box with one of the books along with a hand-painted silk fan and a carefully packed set of teeny Cafe Cubano cups that hold one thimble of cafecito each.

 I promise to read the book. I want to.  But summer school just started, and there are Veterans dinners to arrange and stories about Mr. D* to write and essays to grade and the dog suddenly requires much attention (watching her sleep, brushing her, giving her peanut butter so she will leave me alone so I can grade).

I carry the book with me everywhere I don't compelled to open the book.

Not yet.

 This continues for  over a month, including last week when I got a phone call and had to write down turn-by-turn directions for something that I probably could've looked up later but the lady insisted on giving to me right then and there.

This morning I pulled the book out to check the directions for tomorrow's thing, and flipped open to my favorite part of almost any book - the acknowledgments/authors notes at the end.   The first sentence of the end piece hooks me.

It starts "No coincidence, no story." Hell yeah, I love that!! Stories aren't ramblings, that have to have a shape, they have to be crafted and smashed and rebuilt until they make a space people can stand inside of.   The house is quiet, my coffee is at the perfect temperature and all the sudden I want to do nothing more than read this book.

Hours later I am halfway into the 355 page book and realize I haven't taken a single sip of my coffee.

My neck hurts and my jaw is clenched and I put the book down (after texting my mom OMG YOU WERE RIGHT and checking Twitter and seeing Trump wresting CNN and turning Twitter off), stretched and made fresh coffee which I never drank.

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See is a perfectly architected story of family, cruel traditions, hardship, hope and love.

It is a story about a tree, about friends, and about how we are all connected.

It is beautiful and elegant.

I only cried at the end.