Have you ever re-read a book? Me, almost never. Too many books, too little time. That said, there’s a book I read years ago which I am now re-reading. It is a memoir by the Madeleine L’Engle, the author of A Wrinkle in Time.
Last night I finished the book I was reading and went to the bookshelf to find another. I saw Ms. Engle’s A Circle of Quiet and with no intention of reading it again, I opened it just to read the first couple pages.
By paragraph two I remembered why this book had become one I frequently gave to friends. And although I mostly believe in read-cycling books by donating them, I’d searched out a hardcover of this one to own. What was it about paragraph two? She relates the obsession for counting, that the only housekeeping chore she gives a hoot about is cooking* and her abhorrence for the vacuum cleaner. Me too, me too and me too. By the third page she was onto discussing her love for words and wordsmithing. Madeleine, you are my kind of gal.
But what had caused me to cherish this book, so many years ago, was her idea of how we find kindred spirits. There’s a whole universe of things to understand and enjoy. As if the universe were a sphere with you right in the middle, you can see clearly those things in front of you and not so clearly things in your peripheral vision and then not at all those things behind you.
For me that means I see art and puzzles and language very clearly. In my peripheral area is making music, I can do it but it’s a struggle. Behind me lies the parts of the universe that I know exist but cannot grasp, like physics and economics. We are best matched in our relationships when we find a person whose toes point in the same direction in the universe as our own.
I love this idea. Many times I have met someone and have known immediately that we will be friends, so clear is it that our toes are pointing in the same direction. It needn’t be a perfect overlap. There can surely be things we each grasp and enjoy that the other does not. But mostly we dwell in a similar wedge of the universal pie. Cool idea, huh?
With this premises you can align yourself with the great thinkers and artists from history, not to claim you share their talents but that you share the same passions and orientation.
As I meet so many new people through the Spontaneous Smiley Project, I am struck how many of them have their toes pointing in the same direction as my own. This is deeply satisfying and the new relationships have enriched my life.
Smile. Be Happy.
* Onion Smiley is here representing cooking. I could have posted Vacuum Cleaner Smiley-I do have a couple. But, I just cringe at the very sight of a vacuum.