When I was 23ish I moved out to Colorado. It was the year after college, I knew what I wanted to do but also knew that I was not ready to do it yet. I had lots of budding (get it) ideas about the environment, activism, staying out of the crazy corporate world of debt and busy... but I was missing some basic understandings about myself and the world. I could not put my finger on just what bothered me or just what I wanted to separate myself from, I could not put a finger on it.
I spent a lot of time, like lots of 20 somethings with a little cash, a couple friends and long days to kill when there was no fresh snow, in a coffee shop. It was a book store as well and there was a book I kept seeing in that shop that was calling me. I mean that in a literal sense, no matter when I went to the shop, no matter what I was doing, no matter who was there with me... my eyes would always, always end up focused on that book. Initially the book was just on the shelf, binding out, nothing special; eventually it was one of the titles out and featured in the display, then it was back on the shelf and I found it again. It was not random but was not totally methodical either. The fact is that my eyes always, without looking for it, found this book on a shelf in a book store / coffee shop full of books. The funniest part is that I would only realize that it was the same book after I had landed on it and become conscious of the fact. I never looked for it, intentionally or otherwise. I found it, or, rather it found me, at those times when I would be daydreaming, looking around searching for the next sentence to put in the letter I was writing or the next line to add to the conversation I was having. Eventually I bought it.
The book was Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn. The book changed my life and my thinking on a number of levels. I am reading the book again because I just spent about 700 tax payer dollers to buy a set of 60 for my class. I am going to see to it that each one of my students find a way to access this book and its message. Go get yourself a copy. I am going to milk the message of this book to help me become a more regular contributer on this site that my sister so diligently created and continues to create each day. Just start at the beginning, more later.