Tuesday, October 30, 2012

All I Really Need?

I promised myself I would jettison extraneous stuff in our house in order to make room for more extraneous stuff. It just makes sense. (It also minimizes the chaos, which I find dispiriting.)

Among the ejectees are books.

I We have a lot of books in our house. There are my Dad's books, my Mom's books, even my brother-the-writer's books. And there is my personal stash. A stashary, if you will.

In a burst of "Make room for more," I started to build a pile of let go-ables, books that I bought from the library sale but didn't finish. (Life's too short to read everything.) Books that I never got around to opening (because I don't like mysteries or most genre fiction). A few dogs chosen for book club (just a couple).

When the culling was complete, I found Robert Fulghum's All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. I doubt I've looked at it since it came out. In trying to guess the year it was copyrighted, I was stunned to see it was 1988.

(I'm not tracking time very well. This worries me.)

 Among Fulghum's essays was one on Mother Teresa:
"To cut through the smog of helpless cynicism, to take only the tool of uncompromising love; to make manifest the capacity for healing humanity's wounds; to make the story of the Good Samaritan a living reality; and to live so true a life as to shine out from the back streets of Calcutta takes courage and faith we cannot admit in ourselves and cannot be without."
Bear in mind, he disagrees with  much of what she stood for, what he calls "her version of God." But even in that struggle, he was awestruck by her ability to heal the broken. She received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.

I may keep this book.

(Fulghum's full essay can be found here.)


Irene said...

I would have a hard time building a stash of "to go" books. I'm so attached to my books. I would let those of Mom and Dad's go first. The would always come a time when I would read the "not yet" books.

Megan said...

I'm impressed - I struggle with accepting I'm never going to finish a book and just letting go! And that essay sounds interesting, I should check it out!

Anonymous said...

In a perfect world we would live long enough to read everything we wanted to read.

Leovi said...

Certainly I like books, I'm reading at least two books.

Jen said...

Less is more...is always my new years resolution. It's so hard to get rid of stuff ....at least with books you can pass them on to library's or used book stores where you know someone might enjoy them again and again.