Friday, February 11, 2011

now i need to learn to make pan bread

Over 2 or 3 train rides this week, I read the book Illusions: Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach. I've had this book for YEARS, but every time I've opened it, I've found it to be too poetic. It was just daunting, even though it's very short. I just couldn't bring myself to sit down with it.

I'd received it as a gift from my Great Uncle Arthur (who is not just great in title, but totes rulez as a human being). He'd sent me something I can't remember - probably money - for my high school graduation*, and in my thank you card, apparently I referred to myself as a spaz. Twice. Because that's how I roll. He wrote me a very sweet note, urging me to read the passage on a particular page, which said:

"Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours"

Which, to an 18 year-old, is just maddeningly cryptic. I got it but I didn't really GET it. But I finished the last of my "new" books last week, and I need SOMEthing for the metro. So I finally picked it up. And oh man. OH man. I am so glad it took me this long to read it, because it would've been wasted on me any earlier. Which is, like, so the point of the book. Again, cryptic! I'm sorry. But that's totally how the book rolls.

Here are some gems:

"Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness. Listen to it carefully."

"Imagine the universe beautiful and just and perfect.
Then be sure of one thing:
The IS has imagined it quite a bit better than you have.
The original sin is to limit the IS.

It's not the best-written thing I've ever read in my life, but so timely and so...right. Also, FYI, the book isn't entirely made of these maxims; there's an actual story. These are just incorporated at appropriate plot points.

*OMG high school! I know!!


Rachel said...

"Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours"

oh. I'm stealing that one.

ceejus said...

Wanna borrow it? I told Leaf to read it, but he probably won't have time for a while.