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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

a nugget (or pellet?) I picked up on my journey to the Four Lands...

The last few years have been a struggle for me in a lot of ways.  But I'm pretty sure I'm on the mend.  Very grateful for that.  I've "come up for air" and am rediscovering some joys I've misplaced along my way.  One of those joys is reading.  Not the kind that you feel like you HAVE TO read as an ASSIGNMENT.  But the kind you choose to because it takes you beyond where you are or where you've been in a way that makes you better for the journey.  I've dusted off my library card, and one of my daughters has kindly trained me how to look things up on the library site, request books, renew books, etc.  Coincidentally, we make regular dairy share deliveries to our local librarian, so I've got a built-in trip to the library for book drop-offs and pick-ups.  Kind of like a cosmic confirmation that CHOICE reading is meant to be at this point in my life.

So, let me introduce you to a series (don't you love series?  because when the book is finished you don't have to mourn forever, because there's another book to dive back into...? just don't think too much about the eventual end of the series...) that I can recommend with enthusiasm:  The Shannara Chronicles by Terry Brooks.  I happened into this kind of backwards.  Grace & Katie & I watched the televised show The Shannnara Chronicles, and for the most part enjoyed it.  As a mom watching with my daughters, I didn't so much appreciate the hot and heavy passion parts (less is more, folks. please leave most of that to the imagination - won't hurt the story line!  I mean, that's not in the books...).  But the underlying story sucked me in.  And when the season was finished I was curious about the books.  Since I'd already been introduced to the televised characters, the actors' faces remained cast in my mind, with Manu Bennett as Allanon remaining throughout.

Each book of the series has a good balance of action, drama and underlying good vs. evil.  There's plenty of suspense.  A good amount of heart ache and a lot of wisdom throughout.  It occurred to me in hindsight that I should have been keeping track of some of those wisdom nuggets.  Written them down for future reference/inspiration.  Yes, I know, that's why you BUY the book... but at this point in my life buying the books is not an option.  Thank the Lord for the library!  So, before I took the Elf Queen of Shannara back, I copied out one of my favorite little bits of wisdom I'm going to share with you here.  I hope that's okay with Terry Brooks?
Pages 164 & 165
By Terry Brooks
Aurin Striate aka The Owl speaking to Wren:
                “Wren.”  She turned when he spoke her name and faced him.   “Let me tell you something you haven’t learned yet, something you learn only by living awhile.  As you get older, you find that life begins to wear you down.  Doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, it happens.  Experience, time, events – they all conspire against you to steal away your energy, to erode your confidence, to make you question things you wouldn’t have given a second thought to when you were young.  It happens gradually, a chipping away that you don’t even notice at first, and then one day it’s there.  You wake up and you just don’t have the fire anymore.”
                He smiled faintly.  “Then you have a choice.  You can either give in to what you’re feeling, just say ‘okay, enough is enough’ and be done with it, or you can fight it.  You can accept that every day you’re alive you’re going to have to face it down, that you’re going to have to say to yourself that you don’t care what you feel, that it doesn’t matter what happens to you because sooner or later it is going to happen anyway, that you’re going to do what you have to because otherwise you’re defeated and life doesn’t have any real purpose left.  When you can do that, little Wren, when you can accept the wearing down and the eroding, then you can do anything.  How did I manage to keep going out nights?  I just told myself I didn’t matter all that much – that those in here mattered more.  You know something?  It’s not so hard really.  You just have to get past the fear.”
 I'm currently reading The Talismans of Shannara by Terry Brooks.  As wisdom nuggets come along, I'm going to write them down (fully cited with page number, author, title, etc.).  Then when I'm done with the series, I'll go back and reread (Lord willing) - remembering this time to record the nuggets.  Terry Brooks has a cool website with all the books listed http://terrybrooks.net/books/ ; there's a new reader list and then another list in chronological order.  When I'm done with that, wouldn't it be great if I could start buying the books?  I do realize that's what normal people do...  :)