Thursday, 21 May 2015

Don't judge a book by its cover: Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Melton

I have just finished reading a very Goddy book. I didn't mean to: it had a picture of arrows in a pie on the front and I thought it was going to be some kind of empowering cookery / archery mashup. MORE FOOL ME. But I started it and it was very Goddy and I decided to keep reading because books are basically windows into other people's minds, and I like to peek into minds that are different to mine (side note, if you want to widen your reading habits, you could do much worse than go to your local library, spin around a couple of times and leave with whatever you fall against first, unless it happens to be breathing). 

I am not a God person. But if I were a God person, I would like to be the writer of this book. She's all about seeing the divine in people and talking about her life as it comes. Although taking her life as it comes does involve owning no pans (no pans! How do you eat / arrange impromptu drum recitals?), so I maybe wouldn't take the divine *that* far. The book is basically a collection of blogpost style musings on love and doing your best (in fact, I've just checked and before there was a book there was a blog. TECHNOLOGY) and God features pretty heavily.

So the author and I live in different spiritual worlds. But she has a fascinating story to tell, taking in multiple addictions and eating disorders before she became pregnant, became a mum and her life took a very different direction. Now, what I do I believe in is people. I believe that people are tremendously flawed and tremendously fun. I try to remember that there is a secret voice hidden inside the skull of everyone I talk to, and I try to give that voice the respect it deserves, and the space to be heard if it wants to. By no means do I always achieve this: I am also a people and  my secret voice can be VERY LOUD and VERY WRONG. Lots of the time. But that's cool, I've got to respect my secret voice too. I mean, it would be daft to ignore it, given that it's the only one I can *actually* hear. And this lady believes in people too. She believes that in every person, there is a spark of the divine. I believe that in every person there's a spark of consciousness. Different ideas, but each beautiful in its own way and to its own person.

Sometimes I wish I was religious. I have seen religion bring some great things to people. A sense of purpose, a sense of community and a framework to live a good life. But I have seen people trapped by religion, just as I have seen them freed. And the whole shebang just doesn't sit well with me. You can't just go out and 'get religious' as I understand it. I have a certain way of viewing the world, and it doesn't mesh with religious belief. It doesn't mean I'm right. Yawning-nihilism knows that I have been wrong plenty of times about plenty of things in the past. 

Even though this book didn't make me a religious person it did teach me more about the sort of person I want to be. The sort of person who takes people as they are*, even if they don't  have pans (?). So thank you panless lady, and thank you cover designer for your clever arrow trick (I'm on to you, arrow man).

*Harmless people. If you have toxic people in your life, never feel bad about taking a step back.

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