BookClub Blog: Everyday Sacred and the wrong (but really right) book order


bowlThe book Everyday Sacred: A woman’s journey home by Sue Bender found its way to me one day in March 2011. I was in the King’s English Bookstore around the corner from me and it was misplaced in the cooking section. This is how I usually get my books. They are in the wrong section of the store, but in the right section for me to find. Finding these little treasures tucked away for me to find always makes me stop and take a look. I feel as if there is this little book fairy running around putting books in my path for me to find and read!

It was so pivotal for me at the time. I wrote about it in my book, Mostly Happy:

March 11, 2011

The book is about one woman’s journey to take a step back and see the sacred and the wonder of everyday happenings. Sometimes when we are so caught up in ourselves and our problems, we forget to take a step back and look at the beauty, not the struggle of our lives. So many of her ideas really hit home for me and resonated on a deeper level. While writing this journal, I feel as if I have kept saying that some circumstance has come “full circle” and not I can release and let go…

Wow! There are so many lessons in this book, but there is one portion of the book that gave me an idea about how to destroy and rebuild myself in an artistic way. The author meets a potter who makes cracked bowls. He creates the bowl, destroys the creation, and then pieces it back together into something even more beautiful. It is somewhat of a reference to the practice in many Asian cultures which revere cracking and chipping teacup by filling the cracks with silver, thereby celebrating the journey. Being cracked, chipped and pieced back together only enhances the beauty of the bup and ourselves. Where would we be if we were not cracked or chipped along the way? It is what we use as glue that sets us apart: Do we fill in the cracks with love and seamlessly piece ourselves back together? Do we haphazardly fill in the cracks with anger and frustration and create a seam that ozes out the sides, creating a lumpy, bumpy, uncomfortable union?

Pieces, Pieces Pieces…life is all about pieces, be they cracked or broken pieces or puzzle pieces. We build ourselves up one piece at a time. {page 194}

That wisdom set forth from that book made me want to gift that book to everyone I knew. I remember wanting to buy 5 copies of the book for Mina’s preschool teachers for Christmas that year. Trying to save money, I took a drive to bookstore which may have it, used. I found a few copies as well as Sue Bender’s other book: Plain and Simple, A woman’s journey to the AmishI had wanted to read it, but I needed to put the money toward the Christmas gifts instead. In the end, I bought them, used, on Amazon. I added an extra copy to give to a friend who’s daughter was very ill. I thought it might be helpful. When the books came the following week, I kind of got a bit freaked out when I saw what was inside. Inside were enough copies for Mina’s teachers, and 1 Plain and simple book with an Everyday Sacred barcoded sticker on it. I got the message: the other family didn’t need the Everyday Sacred book as much as I needed to read the Plain and Simple book. I was sent the wrong book from my order, but it was the right one for me to read at the time.

Reading the Plain and Simple book about life with the Amish was extremely validating for me as I was beginning to pare down and simplify my and Mina’s life. The Amish find the sacred in doing everyday things such as doing dishes and folding clothes to weeding the garden. Things that we have learned to avoid and have a machine do for us, they see as a connecting moment with themselves and others around them. I do find hanging my laundry out the dry in the sun a meditative moment to slow down and be aware. There are the movements, the sound of the birds, the breeze in the trees, and the sun on my back as I do it. It grounds me into who I am and my place in my world.

At a time when my life was in complete flux, these books helped me find my center, keep me grounded as I moved through the storms that passed my way. I would love to hear your thoughts on them if you take the time to read them! They are totally worth it.

Until next week, enjoy the fresh spring weather, the sun, and a good book for company!

 

 

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One thought on “BookClub Blog: Everyday Sacred and the wrong (but really right) book order

  1. Some years ago I was given Everyday Sacred as a gift. I loved the book and then loaned it to someone that was struggling. It was never returned, so I think that person needed to keep the book close to her. In need of the wisdom, I have recently been searching unsuccessfully for a used copy. There is one quote that has been in my head and I think I am remembering it correctly: “All the I am is more than enough.” Would it be possible for someone to let me know if that is the exact quote? Many thanks in advance.

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