Open Your Heart

I was lucky enough to read an awesome book this week, lent to me by a friend. So awesome that it took me only a few hours to do so! Once I started, I couldn't put it down.

It's "Now is the time to open your heart", by Alice Walker of "The Colour Purple" fame. It's billed as a novel, but it's so much more than that.

On every page there were "aha!" moments for me. But only because I read it at precisely the right time. If I'd read it 2 years ago, I would have simply dismissed many of the concepts as heresy, or way-out weird, or not even thinkable. Now I find myself embracing them. It's as if a part of me I didn't even know about wrote the book.

It explores everything from purging your past, finding a spiritual path, love between women and women - and women and men, the role of men in guiding the future, permission to journey... well I could go on and on, but there is just so much in that book. You'd simply have to read it yourself.

And it's not the kind of book one can summarize either. It reminds me of a chapter in one of the Narnia series, "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader". Lucy ends up reading a magic book, containing a story "for the refreshment of the soul". She's just done something terrible and feels awful, so this is exactly what she needs. And it's the most wonderful story she's ever read. But as soon as she finishes it, she finds it's fading from memory. It even disappears from the page, and somehow the pages stick together so she can't turn back and start it again. She can remember it's about a sword and a hill and a well - but not much else. Try as she might, she can't remember the whole thing. But forever after, when she thinks of a "good story", in reality it's one that reminds her of that story.

This book is a bit like that. So full and deep, yet at the end I find I can't describe it in depth. It's a soul-connect thing, and little things that happen will remind me of a phrase or a situation in it, popping up from the subconcious where it rests and seems to fill a hole.

Strange to talk this way about words on a page, but there you have it! And if you're at a point where you're questioning everying, questing for different answers to the ones you thought you had, asking for permission to explore territory you have never been to, and finding a way to be comfortable with who you are, where you are - then do yourself a favour. Go read it.