Digesting the Book

I’ve still been listening to that same book that had me pause and write last weeks blog. I’ve listened to two thirds or maybe three quarters of it, but currently have it paused for a few days. I’m at a lovely point in the book that I’m not ready to let go of. I know change is about to happen in the story but it’s like having the perfect bite in a meal, you know you’ll keep eating, but it seems unlikely that you’ll get another perfect bite, and you just want to savor it for a few moments.

The book is about the ordinary man – the one who it was told – “he had a story, but didn’t know what it was”. So, he does have quite a story, but it takes him walking across country to remember what it has been, see who he is now, and where he wants to go with it.

He has recently retired from a job that paid the bills, but never excited him. His wife has been mad at him for nearly twenty years and there is no real communication there, so his days are mundane.

Then one day, he gets a letter from a gal that worked in accounting at his place of employment long ago, saying she is in hospice with cancer and she just wanted to say thanks for being a friend. So, he tries penning a response and starts walking to a nearby post office box to drop it in and can’t get himself perform the action of actually mailing it. He walks past many until he needs to stop for nourishment and the clerk at his stop, relays a story of her relative who had cancer and survived. He then has an idea land upon him that he will walk the nearly 600 miles to where she is, and in doing so, this will keep her alive. He phones the facility of where she is, and tells the gal who answers the phone (his old friend is unable to take the call), that he is walking to see her and she must wait for him. He does not pause to go home and get his phone, proper walking shoes, more clothes or anything. He just begins before something or someone in life convinces him he cannot do this unimaginable thing.

This is where I think that the book captures the imagination of many people. The concept, where life presents itself, and while you are totally unprepared, you start to do the thing that you feel most compelled to do – struggling, but figuring it out as you go. Then in your change or direction, comes the change also of those connected and encountered by you.

Listening to this story has been for me, a bit like hanging a crystal in a window. It looks fairly benign on its own, but as the sun hits it, you find yourself looking at parts of your space (my mind/heart/emotions in this case) that you don’t normally focus on as the colors refract out and draw your eye to spots normally overlooked or not focused upon.

I feel the connection of having someone dear, but not so near, dealing with cancer and what to do and how to support them. I feel the connection of the big and small moments you get with strangers when you go off your normal path and allow those interactions to happen.

So, I’ve taken a few days to enjoy where the characters are right now in the book and to also enjoy where I am and recount the struggles, joys, old and new friends and travel I’ve had too.

I’ll likely listen to the remainder soon. And who knows, maybe this wasn’t the spot where I took the perfect bite, but it will still have been worth savoring either way.

Hope your week was filled with moments to savor too.



Update on the interviews and book selections: Neither interview had read in a while – I guess I need to change the question to include podcasts, movies or other materials to widen the scope. #1 said if she had to choose, she liked romance and there was one called -Ride The Wind – that she would recommend. Oh, that reminds me of a story with my Grandmother that I’ll have to share one day.

#2 recalled that he liked suspense and recommended – Into the Light

Three more interviews this week, so we shall see what these prospects come up with.

6 thoughts on “Digesting the Book

  1. I am reading the same book but in paperback. I’m loving the book. Every chapter has something to think about in terms of people’s relationships and how they remember the past and how life changes someone and on and on…

  2. This book looks great, just downloaded. I like ‘Britt-Marie was Here’, actually all the books written by Fredrik Backman

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