Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Roxanna Slade

Joel and I went on a mini-date to Quail Ridge Books the other day. We totally splurged, but who can resist with the GREAT sale they had going?

I bought In Defense of Food, which I heard in an interview on NPR but we've both been wanting to read the book. I also bought a super cute, super organized planner which makes my life so much calmer. And then, I bought a book by Reynolds Price. If you've ever seen the Quail Ridge bathroom, you know it's awesome. Its walls are covered with framed autographed photos of authors who have visited the bookstore. Every time I go in there, I always see Reynolds Price's photo, so I decided to buy Roxanna Slade. It's set in rural NC, which always catches my interest. So far, it's really interesting. But here's this paragraph that I just love. I've reread it so many times, I couldn't resist posting it:

" Life, in the world I occupy, is an adequate blessing-whatever pain may bear down on me from the skies or elsewhere...I would be a person who worked at proving, to however few doubters through the hardest times or easy days, that the actual world is worth all your strength. Never hold back a cent of all you own and bear inside you, spend it all, die empty-handed. Any trace of stinginess is worse than dying young."

I haven't posted in a while because I've been so darn busy, and in my mind I've been turning this notion of being poured out to those around me. I feel like the Lord has put this burden on my heart: don't waste time. Don't waste a second. Don't miss a single opportunity. I've been thinking a lot about my biggest fears lately.

A while ago, Joel and I had a conversation about them, and while I'm sure I mentioned something trivial, I wasn't being honest. I'm most scared of having anything left when I die. I realize it's a morbid thought, but those who make an impact aren't those who have anything left at the end. They have nothing, because they gave it all away. And while it terrifies me to think of the implications of that, it scares me even more to think of the alternative: that I will squirrel away silly things I can't take with me.

When I was a runner, I always hated how I had this tendency to finish a race with energy. I was completely unwilling to push myself to the utter brink during a race, worried that I might puke, cramp up, or pass out. But at the end of the race, I knew I could have done better. I just feel like it's so easy to do that...and I'm still there most of the time. Wading in the baby pool when I need to be diving deep.

So after all this mulling, I read that quote, and it was so artfully written, it took my breath away. I read it three times and then made Joel sit through my little read-aloud with full explanation (he's such a good sport).

Happy reading everyone :)

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