This book is a great addition to Terry Tempest Williams' life-story, a memoir that's constructed in bits and fragments and can sometimes be disjointedThis book is a great addition to Terry Tempest Williams' life-story, a memoir that's constructed in bits and fragments and can sometimes be disjointed and at other times beautifully related and relatable. Best read after Refuge.
She never fails to amaze me, to pull me in with her words and make her story seem every bit as much my story. This volume is simpler and more economical than some of her others (especially Finding Beauty in a Broken World, her previous book), but that doesn't mean it's any less powerful.
Much of this book is framed around her mother's journals. Terry's constant metaphors and interpretations on what they could mean are imaginative, soul-searching, reaching and sometimes desperate. As a parent, it is hard not to relate to these sentiments of family bridged across generations, across real love and concern, both our similarities and dissimilarities.
She is a true egalitarian, activist, conservationist, passionate lover of people and nature and the world. She impresses me and speaks to me (sometimes to only me I say), as with the following two quotes, which I believe sum up much of Terry's messaging and ideas here:
"Finding one's voice is a process of finding one's passion." (85)
"I want to feel both the beauty and the pain of the age we are living in. I want to survive my life without becoming numb." (224)...more
I loved this story so much more than I thought it would. It was a random recommendation from my dad, and then Amy read it first and I finally got to iI loved this story so much more than I thought it would. It was a random recommendation from my dad, and then Amy read it first and I finally got to it quite a bit later, just because. For no good reason.
And I am lucky for doing so. Kiyo's tale is about family. There is history, much of the Japanese internment and Japanese-American relations (or lack thereof) in the 20th century. There is farming and hard work, the American dream perched on the backs of industrious and persistent immigrants, people with dedication, loyalty, and love--to their families, their dogs, their newly adopted nation, to any spot of land that could be called theirs.
More than inspiring. I felt encouraged to work harder, love deeper, and experience fuller. I will be a better father, tell my children more stories, work and play with them more. (Kiyo's mother and father were apparently some of the truest saints in this world.)
I finished this at 3:30 am, weeping. That's a little hard to admit, maybe, but I felt such a deep appreciation for people and family and love, life and living it. Potential. History under the asphalt, history for every person living or dead, told and untold, remembered and forgotten. This book is a gift to Kiyo's family. It's a history of good people, the best. I want to visit the very few remnants of their family farm near Mather Field, maybe find one of those long-abandoned almond trees in the high weedy grass and just sit under it, put my hands in the fallow red soil that was once turned fecund by the toils of gentle souls....more