Good quick read. Totally appreciated this new character Socrates who after 27 years in prison is released early and goes to LA where he lives in WattsGood quick read. Totally appreciated this new character Socrates who after 27 years in prison is released early and goes to LA where he lives in Watts to start his life over. Of course he is there during the riots. He is tough but not hardened, wise and off balance in the outside world. He is able to do good by the people he meets including a young man. Through him we see the clash of worlds for someone re-entering civilian life while grappling with the terrible things he did so long ago. There are a lot of life lessons in this book....more
Eve Ensler is doing terrific work to fight violence towards women in our world. I recently watched her documentary "What I want My Words To Do To You,Eve Ensler is doing terrific work to fight violence towards women in our world. I recently watched her documentary "What I want My Words To Do To You," where she went into a women's prison and ran writing groups. She recruited actors to perform their words to the women. It was the only time the prison allowed the lights to be dimmed like in a theater. This is powerful healing to write then have witness to your words. As healing as the interviews for inclusion in the Vagina Monologues was for many women across the world. I'm not sure if schools are still doing the monologes, and I regret I did not participate when it happened where I live. I hope this work that empowers women sustains....more
Carol Poole's superb memoir captures what it was like in the 70s being part of a deeply religious family that joined the Order, a cult that separatedCarol Poole's superb memoir captures what it was like in the 70s being part of a deeply religious family that joined the Order, a cult that separated children from their parents so the parents would be able to focus on the work and mission of the church to better the world.
She relays the ache leaving her parents at a young age, presents in detail how the children lived and the neglect inherent in the system. She describes living under these rules through rich memories. From childhood she was a voracious reader, in the Order it was hard to even find a book. One the first books she found, on a floor she was not supposed to be on, was Viktor Frankl's, Mans Search for Meaning. She made comparisons to her own survival in the Order. She was already familiar with Hegel and Heindeiger from her childhood. It is no surprise she became a psychotherapist of analytical study, she was using Frankl's words to survive.
As a psychotherapist, she gives a historical and a psychological perspective about the Order, including its dissolution, when it splintered into other groups. She does much examination of her own psychological trauma, her relationship with her mother and father, brother and sister.
There are moments of joy, when she had the rare opportunity to visit her family who were assigned to work in Egypt, when she saw them engaged in the work, particularly her father, who had made a strong friendship. They were working with the community solving real issues to make life easier for the people there. Her parents were separated from this community by the Order sometime after the leader died. Her father had a shortened life, dying in his late 40s after several heart attacks.
She describes the idealism, the strong core of Puritanical values and roots that her parent's generation of this religious order held through turbulent years of the Vietnam war, the civil rights movement. This was a way her parents could participate in their strong beliefs, when they could not do what the free love and war protests were doing, the Order was their way. Cults provide answers and direction.
There is much more that can be said about this book, but I suggest you read it....more
This book came into my hands by accident. My partner saw the play Violet and brought the book home from the library to read the story it is based on.This book came into my hands by accident. My partner saw the play Violet and brought the book home from the library to read the story it is based on. I picked it up and started reading these surreal stories that come out of Southern Grotesque writing. They are surprising and intense. Violet is the young woman in the story, The Ugliest Pilgrim, she has a wound on her face and is on a journey to get it healed and restore her beauty by a radio minister, who of course is a sham. A review of the play: http://www.dramainthehood.net/2016/03...
The last story in the book, "Benson Watts Is Dead and in Virginia," three dead people travel across a landscape. The woman is pregnant and doesn't know she is dead. Then a man shows up who knows 'the rules' to avoid going back. They are: 1-Dwell, then travel, 2-Join forces, 3-Disremember. So off they go, they build a large canoe from a tree to take them down a river. Eventually they wind up in a large body of water and on an island. We are totally drawn in to their wandering lives. One day the woman deflates and is dead, again, the first man is left alone like he started. I love the sentence in this story, "He stayed gone a long time." Also from the Tibet Book of the Dead, it is 49 days for the amount of time it takes to pass between death and further life.
In the story, "The Spider Gardens of Madagascar" a young man learns his father died in a car crash, his mother survived. We begin to learn about their relationship, he knows she was the cause of his father's death. He starts collecting spiders for a school project knowing she is not interested in spiders, he must do something she will not infringe upon. We feel her overbearing nature and his recoil. He grooms poisonous black widow spiders and the final line of the story is, "Someday soon, Coker was going to have to decide where he would turn her and her children loose—in Lillian's room, or his."
I'm glad this book showed up by accident, it holds many strong emotions in each story. And each story creates it's own world. The title of the book has no relationship to the movie of the same name....more