WHAT ARE YOU READING?
Reading is like traveling in your mind. I’ve always loved books and love to tell the story of going to the Bookmobile in the summertime. I was allowed to check out only one book. Well, I’d be through with that the next day and had nothing to read until the next week when the Bookmobile came and parked at the school. I asked, and received, special permission to check out as many as I wanted! I was the happiest 4th grader in town.
When I would run out of books, I would read anything around the house–my dad’s Outdoor Life, Field & Stream and my mother’s Bible. Any story was better than none!
You might well imagine my house is full of books. I don’t like to get rid of them, so I buy more bookshelves to hold them. I stack them two rows deep, I file them on shelves, I arrange them by color, I turn them any way making them fit to the top of the shelf. Sell them? Oh, no…never! In my “final wishes” I’ve instructed my family to NEVER SELL my books…give them away…that’s OK…BUT NEVER SELL THEM.
From time to time I will share with you here what I’ve been reading.
Will be back here soon to update you on my reading list!
The first time I came across the story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach was in the 70s. At the time I was reading other books like Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet and Shirley McLaine’s Out on a Limb. Those types of books were part of the cultural/spiritual evolution and revolution of the 70s.
That period of time was a particular new discovery for me, and I found “Jonathan” to be inspiring this time for me in a whole new way. As I’ve traveled some journeys in those last 12 years, I have revisited “Jonathan” again and again.
If you are one of those people who needs or searches for some solid comparisons of how your life can be experienced by others and how others find answers, it might be worth a first or another read for you.
“We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill. We can be free. We can learn to fly.”
I have discovered that being free from shackles of inefficiency and ignorance can lead us to perform great tasks—greater than our minds are capable of imagining.
Upon “Jonathan’s” achievement of the ultimate (he thought it was at the time) life in heaven, he realizes he has broken free of his earthly limitations; he learns the art of flying high and soaring (which is not nature for a seagull). His mentor explains to him:
“You will begin to touch heaven, Jon, in the moment you touch perfect [speed]. Perfect speed my son, is being there.”
Nearly two years ago upon my retirement during an occasion where my colleagues were honoring me and my service, I thought about “Jonathan.”
I told the group what has come to be my anthem about those people and opportunities that come into our life and either pass through or stay for a while or maybe a lifetime.
“If our friendship depends on things like space and time, then we’ve destroyed our brotherhood [mankind]. Overcome space and all we have left is HERE; overcome time and all we have left is NOW. In the middle of HERE and NOW don’t you think we might see each other once or twice?”
That is my belief—that we never say goodbye to those in our lives—we simply meet them on another level.
As the reader nears the last pages of Jonathan’s tale, there are comments and references that will remind you of the story of Jesus—how He came to the earth to help His people. “Loving the flock enough to return to it and help it…” His mentor continued, “…[this] is an unlimited idea of freedom, an image of the Great Gull, and your whole body, wingtip to wingtip, is nothing more than the thought of itself.”
I’m not saying this story is a replacement for any religion or philosophy nor does it suggest nor does it address any religion. I don’t think it is meant to do that. I am, however, saying that the thoughts of who we are encompasses what we are here on earth and the idea there is more that awaits believers.
If you want to watch a process unfold before your eyes, pick up the book today and let the author’s thoughts walk—or fly—among your thoughts.
Richard Bach. Jonathan Livingston Seagull – a story. MacMillan Publishers, 1970. ISBN: 0-380-01286-3; Library of Congress Number: 75-119617
After Notes: this link will bring you up to date on Richard Bach and his writings. After a near-death experience, the new publications are a must read to any fan. http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/feb/11/richard-bach-jonathan-livingston-seagull-part-four
Wanted to tell you I just finished From Elvis to Elvira-My Life on Stage by Richard Sterban of the Oak Ridge Boys, with Steven Robinson. Autographed & available from ORB website @http://oakridgeboys.com/merch
If you are a fan of the Oak Ridge Boys and their more-than-40 years of entertaining, you will enjoy this behind the scenes look. Moreover, if you are an Elvis fan, find out how Richard Sterban is associated with “The King.”
When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes. Erasmus