Have you ever had an idea or belief that sort of just hovered at the edge of your consciousness like an icy fog early in the morning? Have you ever had belief or idea that is real, but not quite a palpable, integrated part of your daily life?
New ideas or seldom used beliefs are like that for me. And really good books are the cold front, the gust of wind that changes the icy fog into piles of real snow. The best books that come through my life are the ones that crystallize those delicate, foggy ideas that dance on the edge of your mind, and hide just past the corner of your eye.
No matter where they may fall on the grand landscape of literature, a really great book is one that gives important ideas something to grip. A really great book takes ideas, gives them a voice and a vocabulary, and turns foggy notions into a tangible, knowable, speak-able ideas. As Christopher Fleming ("Dead Famous", www.unknownmagazine.com) puts it "believing is one thing, knowing is another". A good read can take a foggy notion or a poorly defined belief and turn it into knowing.
There have been a number of authors that have given me that sort of experience. Most are well-known names: Richard Bach, Ted Andrews, Michael Newton's "Journey of Souls", the Tao Te Ching and many more. I just finished a book that can go into this special section of my Geek Girl's Bookshelf...."Witchlight: Witches on Parole" by Debora Geary (www.deborageary.com).
If you need it to be just fun, lighthearted brain-candy, this book can do that. This book has everything I like from the "Modern Witch" series and adds a secret surprise inside.
I'm not surprised that the author is a knitter (www.ravelry.com). She takes themes like self-discovery, self-acceptance, personal responsibility balanced with fun and knits them together in a burst of color and wraps the story around a core group of realistic, wonderful, relate-able characters. This books adds yet another thread to the pattern - the role of a mentor and the way they learn from the students as much as the students learn from the mentor. Substitute "master" for "mentor" (not really different in this case) and this book very much resonates with my long-past experience teach martial arts. She reflects something very true, which would be plenty for any book to accomplish.
But there, wrapped in the heart of the book, is an epiphany.
In one scene, a group of friends are talking about how an old mentor had profoundly impacted Jenny, who. in her turn, has just become a mentor for the first time. Then a nine year old healer-in-training in the room hits us with this:
"He helped you be awesome"
Which in turn made Jenny realize they could indeed help her new protoges "find their awesome too".
"Sure," the young healer agreed. "It's what witches do."
Witches, bakers, knitters, healers, mentors...writers: That really is what they do. It doesn't matter if they teach martial arts, do tarot readings, help healing, or create a fun bit of fiction...the what isn't nearly as important as the awesome. The point of writing, teaching, healing, being a friend or just walking around on planet Earth is to help people "find their awesome". What more loving, compassionate thing is there to do?
And there is some kind of awesome in all of us. We just have to find it. It can be anything...writing a good book, knitting a soft sweater, baking yummy cookies, doing a tarot reading - anything. The true test of finding your awesome is if it helps others find theirs too.
You. Yes, you. You there looking at a screen reading this - you are awesome!
Addendum: I don't know who created the happy clipart in this and other posts. I found it in a "public domain" + play search on Google. Whoever you are...thanks!