so………this book.

on my sign outside my classroom door that shows what I’m reading (as well as my most recent finish and the grade I gave it), I gave this book a C-.  not really a fan.  I wanted to like this book, I really did, but it started off bad and had a hard time redeeming itself.  I liked the idea of the book but not so much the execution.  it’s about twelve people who are (sometimes) unrelated to each other and how their lives do (or do not) intersect.  the unifying theme is philippe petit‘s 1974 tightrope walk between the twin towers.  I have not seen man on wire–have you?  is it worth watching?  anyhow.  I know this is a total shocker coming from me, but the main reason I didn’t like this book that much was because I didn’t like the characters that much.  I really didn’t.  I didn’t care about most of them, so I didn’t care what happened to them.  two of the most central characters die in the first chapter (sorry for the spoiler, sorry not sorry, it happens right away, and I don’t think you should read this book anyway) and it didn’t bother me or upset me or really even surprise me when they died.  which is a big bummer.  I will say that I liked some chapters better than others, mostly because of their characters. 

I will tell you what did get me thinking with this book.  I think my favorite storyline was between two women named Claire and Gloria.  they are super different women (white, black, rich, poor, park avenue, projects) who both lost sons to the vietnam war.  they form kind of an unlikely friendship that has a really significant impact on both their lives.  and I have been thinking about that a lot lately…people that are different, and the kinds of relationships we have with them.  I love my small group more than anything, but what I think is so fascinating is that we are SO different from each other.  I mean, we do have things in common…some of us went to the same college, or like the same reality tv, or like the same board games, or go to the same church, but in so many other ways we are SO different.  in temperament, in personality, in so many other ways.  one of my best friends lives in a tiny town in alaska where they don’t have shopping and traffic and dvr.  another one of my best friends and I are ten years apart in age.  another one of my best friends is an exercise junkie while another one is a smoker.  how do we fit together?  I have been thinking about this a lot.  not because I think it is good, or bad…but because I don’t always know how to deal with people.  it seems so easy with the ones that are already a big part of my life.  but how do I deal with the others?  I am a lot more socially anxious than I used to be.  if you asked me five years what I wanted to do for my 30th birthday I would have said “have a huge party!!!!” but now, a small dinner, or going to the lake and sitting on the dock with a small group sounds so much better.  part of me is okay with this, but part of me thinks that I have gotten used to the easy way out.  I don’t want to interact with new people because it’s tough.  I hate election year.  I always have, but this year seems so much worse.  how do I interact with people?  I have a bad attitude.  I don’t want to know what other people think, because 1, I don’t always know what I think, and 2, I assume they will be pushy or assume I agree with them or not want to have an actual discussion.  it seems hard.  I feel like people think what they think and don’t really care what the other side says.  it makes me frustrated, and it seems difficult, so it is much easier for me to not engage.  is this good?  is this what God wants me to do?  probably not.  but it is so much easier.  so I have just been thinking a lot.  this book (I still love this book and will have much to say when it’s over) makes me want to live a better life, not an easier life.  and I think that I have gotten used to the easier life.  I feel like I have been far from God lately and I am grateful for these questions for pushing me back to him.  he has every promise I could ever need.  1 peter says to live a good life.  try to be good, and go after peace.  love each other.  be agreeable, sympathetic, loving, compassionate.  this is a good place to start.