Monday, June 6, 2011
Pitch Perfect: THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE
And I know that book will live on for a long time within me. Forever. Or as long as my forever lasts.
When I was a child, many, many books lived inside me. Their characters became friends who lived past the covers of the book, and into adventures within me. But now, it takes a special book. Maybe I have finite space, or maybe I'm more discerning.
I just turned the last page of THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE. I shed my tears, I smiled my laughs. And now the book lives within me.
That is, it lives within the reader side of me. It made the writer side of me give up writing. How could I possibly add my substandard words to the book world after reading a book in which no word was misused or extraneous? Pitch perfect I am not.
I gave up. For a moment. And then I came back around. And picked up the pen.
When I was a teen*, I made many messes with relationships and people. Life was messy, and because it was messy, it hurt. I felt like I wanted to escape, but that would mean escaping me.
I was the mess.
I couldn't move beyond my mistakes. THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE, reminded me, with startling clarity, that when you start living as yourself--when you start choosing for yourself--life gets messy. You make life messy. But there is hope for coming out the other side--into grace, and into YOU.
So, when I write a big old mess, there is hope that it will come out to the other side (of revision and hard work), and become something achingly beautiful. Jandy Nelson, you've raised the bar high. Thank you.
*Okay, to be perfectly honest, there are days when I still feel like a mess. There just aren't quite as many of them as there used to be. :)