Monday, April 13, 2009

Friday 10 April to Monday 13 April 2009: Sarah escapes into the joys of reading at a manic pace and it makes her feel GOOD!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY OSCAR!

Sarah says:
That's me above - today, Monday the 13th of April - Oscar Dioniso Smith's 2nd birthday! :-)! Time sure flies. Anyway - as part of my manic reading phase because it keeps my mind off of real life and isn't as depressing as escaping into TV and becoming a couch potato - I just finally started a book my mom sent me called The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. This is the third book I have started reading, been in the middle of reading or finished reading in 3 days! It's the greatest escape all of a sudden. I haven't been feeling happy at all lately. Sitting in front of the TV is too easy and depressing an escape. For some reason, reading has pumped new life into me and has made me feel so much better. But I can't stop and it is so distracting. It's obvious I just want to escape from everyday life right now - I know. But at least my brain is working rather than just going into some dark hibernation!

And there above you can see me yesterday on Sunday the 12th of April 2009 reading My Revolutions by Hari Kunzru. I finished My Revolutions this morning (Monday) and was sad it was over. I had to start another book right away. I recommend this My Revolutions to you all. The story itself is captivating even if you can't relate to it. I think many of you will surely be able to relate to it, which means you will enjoy reading it all the more. Although I grew up in America in the 70s - not the 60s - and the book is about the late 60s and early 70s in The UK and Europe and "revolutions" that were too early for my true grasp, I moved to Europe and met so many politically minded people who were the children of this era and it opened my mind to the want of revolutions... I recognize a lot of people in the book and many ideals and ideologies. Read it if you get the chance!

There I am above on Saturday the 11th of April 2009 taking comfort in a great cup of needed coffee - another great escape! I have loved the pace of these last few days. It's seldom that I just allow myself to be lazy and relax and read. I needed this down time badly. It's been great!

There above you see me on Friday the 10th of April finally finishing the book What Is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng is a novel written by Dave Eggers. I had been reading this book for a few months but never had the time to just keep on reading, which is what this book deserves. Finally I had time to just throw myself fully into it. It is an intense book that finally made me understand a part of the world I heard about in the news but never really followed the news of - that is Sudan. It's a novel fully based on the true stories of Deng and his experience as one of the "Lost Boys of Sudan" who became a refugee during the Second Sudanese Civil War. The book follow Deng's flight and plight through Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya with his eventual relocation to The USA with almost 4000 other "Lost Boys". The book is a painful and disturbing read and reminds us how little we know about the rest of the world. I didn't know anything at all about Sudan, I am ashamed to admit. While reading the book, I couldn't help but think about how very easy it is to assume you know something about someone. In this case, I mean about political refugees. So many people here in Belgium and all over the world look at so many of the African people here or in other countries as a threat of some sort. This and that are given as reasons - but mostly I guess it is the fear of the unknown. How easy it is to forget or to refuse to see that so many displaced people have nightmarish stories of the worlds they have escaped from. Anyway - this book gave me a million things to think about. I wish everyone could read it. I wish everyone in this whole world of ours could just live anywhere they wanted to despite religious beliefs, wealth, passports, etcetera... A silly and unrealistic thought, I know. But why not? We all have so much to learn from each other and each other's stories...

And last but not least - my Post Secret pick of the week above about life being good and all and how everyone just overreacts. On the one hand, I 100% agree with that. We have NOTHING to complain about over here with our "rich" "western" lives. Even when we lose our jobs, we have a cushion so we don't fall through the cracks! When we get sick, we are protected by health insurance. Life is GOOD!!! We WILL be fine! We complain and get dark about things and lose perspective way too easily and forget how good we all have it - even in times of recession. If we have our health and our loved ones we are already so rich and life is good. With that said, of course, I overreact a lot - too much - I am sure! It is easy to wallow and to lose perspective and I guess we need to just wallow in it all sometimes. But then we just have to get the hell on with it and our cushy lives. I try - lordy knows I try - I wish I didn't have this depressed side to myself - this dark side. I am ashamed of it. We can't always be happy either. I know that. But it's all the complaining and stuff we westerners so... I want to live more simply and learn to be more humble or something. This is what is going through my mind these days anyway... Who knows where it will lead!

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