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A Life in Letters

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After visiting the Steinbeck Museum  last year and picking up this book I finally sat down to read it and boy was it fascinating. 

It was such a gift to be able to read about the man in his own words.  For the first time in many years I regretted stopping writing letters.  Of course, I am glad some stuff isn’t in writing!  But to read the good parts and the bad parts of his life was amazing.  It was also inspirational.  The fact that he questioned his abilities was a surprise to me.  I think we all believe others have it all figured out and it’s just us that are lagging.  He was so giving of himself in the letters – he let it all out – the good, the bad and the ugly. 

In reflecting about his generosity I can see how much I hold back.  I don’t want to tell the whole truth.  I would rather smile no matter what.  Maybe that isn’t a good philosophy.  Let people know what’s going on, that’s the only way they can help.  Sometimes helping is just listening.  Today I talked with a few friends and just that small connection meant the world to me.  It changed my whole attitude and view of the world. I am definitely guilty of keeping to myself – burying my head in a book and not really interacting.  Life is not about that.

Life is about participating.  One of my favorite rides at Magic Mountain (long since gone) was Shock Wave and its motto was “Life is not a spectator sport.”  I  LOVE that.  I need to remember that.  I haven’t thought about Shock Wave in a long time – it was awesome – a stand up roller coaster.  Here’s a video of the ride:

Experience it!  Don’t you LOVE the Internet?  I can’t believe there is a video of it.

Well, that made my day.  I am currently reading the Life of Graham Greene – it is a 3-volume set – I didn’t realize that when I bought volume 1.  I am enjoying it, but not as much as the letters John wrote.  I definitely found a new genre to investigate.  I really like to know why people do what they do and how they got there.  Do you have a favorite biography?

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