The thought has occurred to me more than once of writing a book entitled Dear Elvis. Inside would be my collection of letters to you as I journey through joy and loss. Who better to share my stories with than you: a man of love, compassion, and creativity?
More on that, I believe.
Books. I have had the pleasure of reading some good books lately: Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home by Toko-pa Turner; The Midnight Library by Matt Haig; and Forever Boy: A Mother’s Memoir of Autism and Finding Joy by Kate Swenson.
I also shut down my FaceBook app for a while.
With Turner’s book, I made extensive notes throughout. Very personal ones, so I’ll not be lending it. It was like becoming a student again, reading reflectively, and accepting the author’s invitation to consider where I fit in this universe of things. It raised the question of what it means to belong and for me, the answers were familiar and comforting. I am belonging just fine <3.
Ironically, it was in the losing of someone very, very special to me that I have begun to discover who I really am, and always was, and where I have the potential to go.
The Midnight Library, I listened to while rug hooking and resting. I chose this book for two main reasons: the title ( a library at midnight? C’mon), and because the narrator, Carey Mulligan, is one of my favorite actresses (the Dr. Who companion who never was..).
It’s the story of Nora Seed, a slider, who explores the lives she had in her parallel universes, as she faces her “root life” demise. Science Fiction and quantum physics- an emotional read for those of us who are often overcome with memories that seemingly arrive from nowhere, and who can be quite shaken by those deja-vu and what-if moments. It’s a spectacular story through audio, performed by an exquisite woman.
Finally, Elvis, I share with you a book that was shared with me by a beautiful young woman who knows the amount of love and fortitude one needs to raise a child with autism. This narrative describes one woman’s journey, Kate Swenson, and that of her son, Cooper, as she navigated both the health and education systems while maintaining a home, career, relationship, and family. She openly describes the messiness of it all; it’s a story of loss and grieving, love and hope. It’s an exercise in compassion and humility, and all people working with other people’s children should read it.
Fundamentally, these three books serve as journey stories. Turner’s and Swenson’s are real-life. Nora Seed’s, by comparison, is fictional, and yet is not without its seriously relative points. Her story also emphasizes the power of writing, and how people and relationships, real or fictitious, can so beautifully shape our worlds of creativity, hope, and help.
And what of my book?
Well… it’s been brewing for an extra long time. But this I can tell you sweet man. The dedication page would “go something like this”:
This book is dedicated to Lisa Marie Presley, Bea Gauthier, Melissa Pugsley, Pat Gauthier, Stewart Pugsley, and Elvis Presley. The cherished ones.