If you are a book nerd like me, these little bound clusters of pages can be much more than a way to pass time waiting at a corner coffee shop or while commuting on the subway. (just let me pretend I live in NYC for a minute, thanks.) Books sometimes shape my soul, give me direction, give me clarity, help me discover something about myself, and remind me of the good stuff in life. (I am not sure if the Goosebumps or Boxcar children series I devoured as a child has that dramatic of an impact, but I do still enjoy scary stories and mysteries so…)
Anyway, over the past few years there have been a few books that have made me want to sing an opera and paint my walls with glitter in joy. It began with Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont, then Juicy Pens Thirsty Paper and Make Your Creative Dreams Real by SARK (who knew other people loved color and markers as much as I did?!) and then On Writing by the super amazing and perfect and terrifying Stephen King then BAM. This weekend I have added another to my life-changing repertoire: Cold Tangerines By Shauna Niequist.
Cold Tangerines has helped revive the inspiration fed part of my soul, which after a year of *stress*stress*stress* I was beginning to think was permanently damaged. (yikes!) IT IS NOT.
It has made me realize that yes, yet again I can sparkle inside as bright as Richard Simmons best leotard. (FYI this is my favorite analogy and have used it in 3 different pieces of writing and I don’t care if you judge me for it because it brings me sheer joy) Cold Tangerines has helped wake up parts in me that had a permanent ’closed until the weather improves’ sign nailed to the front door. Shauna wrote in one chapter about a group of high school girls she started mentoring, that
“They uncovered something good in me that started to get crusted over by grown up life and dress pants and mortgage payments”
I feel that adult life can have that effect on us if we don’t fight against it. Our creativity and excitement can be squelched by the need to buy toilet paper and cook dinners and clean and find a job and pay bills. Don’t let a part of you die as you get older! Remember those times when you felt inspired, when you had joy, when you freely created and keep fighting to get back to that place.
P.S. Reading Cold Tangerines just might help get you there! DO IT.