At last I am here, standing in the steam and dim light.  The warm water rushes from the faucet, filling the tub with honey scented bubbles.  I feel like I have been waiting for this moment all day, waiting for this window of time, to myself.  I sink into the hot water, my shoulders slipping beneath the surface.  The heat engulfing me, warming my blood, cold from this winter that will not end.  I wiggle my toes in the bubbles and exhale.  I dry my hands, my fingers find the little slip of paper that marks where I stopped reading the night before.  I begin to read, the words painting pictures behind my eyes.  I lose myself in the life story of a stranger.


In an effort to achieve more balance I have been stepping away from my laptop lately.  Away from the status updates I forget the minute I read them.  Away from the obsessive need to ingest all the blogs in my reader.  I have tried to limit my time in front of the TV.  Instead I’ve been requesting books from my local library, revisiting my love of reading.  Relishing in the complete escape I feel as I open the door to a different world.

My heart lifted reading about Stephanie Nielson falling in love with her husband at a young age, and then ached to read of her journey back to herself after a plane crash which burned over 80 percent of her body in her book, Heaven Is Here: An Incredible Story of Hope, Triumph, and Everyday Joy.  Laughter bubbled up and then exploded as I read, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson.  Both of these books I requested after reading Stephanie and Jenny’s blogs.  Somewhere online I saw the title for Claire Bidwell Smith’s memoir,  The Rules of Inheritance, and it sat on my nightstand for two weeks while I attempted to read a novel.  The urge to read about real life kept beckoning.


Tears slip down my cheeks and dry where they fell, leaving a tightness around my eyes and in my throat.  The water cools and I add more hot, I am not ready to get out, to stop reading Bidwell Smith’s words.  Her loss is staggering and I feel cracked open reading her pain.  This book is real, honest, and at some points so raw that I cannot see the words swimming in my tears.  I will finish it less than 48 hours after starting it.  Beautiful words to describe this book escape me, but I know this book will stay with me for a long time.


Now I find myself following links and spending time in front of my laptop again, no longer skimming my facebook feed, instead I am looking for more memoirs.  More real life stories I can dive into.

A different kind of connection.



7 thoughts on “Memoirs

  1. I’ve been drawn more to reading memoirs lately too. Of those you mention, I’ve only read Lawson’s (hilarious!) and recently read (or, rather, listened to as I painted my daughter’s room) Eddie Huang’s Fresh Off the Boat, a life story radically different from my own and well worth engaging with. And then there’s Kathleen Norris, whose books Dakota and The Cloister Walk I love for entirely different reasons 🙂

  2. Did you ever read THIS LOVELY LIFE by Vicki Forman? Or ROADMAP TO HOLLAND by Jennifer Graf Groneberg. Both were wonderful. I may be biased since I know them both, but they are phenomenal writers and amazing women.

  3. I just finished Michael Hainey’s After Visiting Friends. It was remarkable. Ann Patchett’s Truth and Beauty is another great one. I’ve always loved memoirs.

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