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The Books Chose Me

It's amazing that every book I've read this summer has reflected back to me a part of my life. I went into the bookstore somewhat sad and forlorn and thought to myself- “if I buy enough books life has to get better.” I wanted to keep reading so I could learn the lessons of others and realize again the wonder all around me.  Spending time with the characters in each book would do me good and cheer me up at the very least.


But I never expected to walk a journey so intimate with authors I serendipitously connected with on the shelves. I chose these books, but did they choose me? Is it possible to be in a kismet moment where seemingly random engagements are really designed touchpoints. Designed to leave an impact. I learned so much about life and myself on the pages of each of these books. 


I started with the Neighbor Favor by Kristina Forest. A book about how two lonely book lovers connected across the sea. Through betrayal and uncertainty, they still chose each other because the spark of love cannot be denied. It makes you, draws you and calls you to try to be with the one who shares your depth, hopes, fears. The one who sees you and keeps walking toward you despite every flaw. It helped me believe in the power, strength and importance of the intangible. 


I moved to Lucky Girl by Irene Muchemi-Ndiritu. I've always loved African authors and her storytelling called me to realize the sensitive differences between American born blacks and African born black people. Our struggles are different, our outlook shapes the way we move in the world but love, family and relationships find ways to keep us grounded. They are the mirror by which we see the sheltered places of our hearts.  It's always those vulnerable places that are most beautiful and worthy to be shared with others.  I learned even more through this book to, trust the process.


Then there was Breast and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami and I heard the stories of two sisters both searching for something they both thought they lost as children. The trauma we experience as people of color: family separation, financial instability, beauty shaming, they all impact the way we see ourselves and believe in ourselves. Whether we get new breasts or birth children, the intention, is always to find wholeness. I learned to better understand external intentions and relize times heals.


Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi, was next, she helped me realize how faith is challenged and forgotten, forgotten and then remembered and then later fiercely rediscovered. Memories fuel new discoveries and reconnects us to our purpose. Family helps with these things.  They stabilize us. Their love helps with these things. 


Love helps with everything. The love that connects you with everything. Realizing the world is a community and we live symbiotically. These books taught me to love. Expanded my life in ways I was not prepared for and encouraged me to know that I was not forgotten.  The divine directed me to each book and caused me to know that I am not having a solitary experience- I am connected to so many others and we are all gonna be alright.


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