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Book Title: The Same River Twice|
The author of the book: Alice Walker
Date of issue: October 20th 2005
Loaded: 2087 times
Reader ratings: 3.1
ISBN 13: 9780753819593
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 341 KB
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As an avid reader, I love the possibility of finding gems among the words of others. Sometimes I stumble upon a perfectly crafted sentence that flows like music from the page. Other times I learn something about the world or something about myself. Words have the power to destroy, to lift up, and to inspire.
Alice Walker has penned many books, both fiction and nonfiction. A common theme in her work is rising above human frailty. Walker’s critics have often accused her of being arrogant and self-obsessed, due to the amount of deeply personal details she has shared with her readers. I have garnered pearls of wisdom from this candied, compassionate woman over the course of reading her words.
We all face challenges. My most recent challenges have stemmed from ten months of illness. I spent three more hours at the hospital today, consulting with a specialist, and having more tests. I received great news in that all of the cancer screens came back clear. I felt elated, then, after a list of new tests, I started to feel defeated. The cycle seems unending.
On my way home I thought about Alice Walker’s book, The Same River Twice – Honoring the Difficult (Simon & Schuster, 1996); wherein she shared her experience battling lyme disease, caring for her dying mother, dealing with the breakup of a relationship, and harsh criticism from the press/ her peers (all of which she incurred simultaneously).
“…it was difficult being so sick, so attacked and betrayed, and at the same time, as with so many difficult situations, there became a lot of light, a lot of freedom and a lot of exhilaration, I wanted to go into that for myself, I wanted to share that.”
I have experienced tremendous light and exhilaration in my life over the past year. For all that illness has taken it has given me time. There is always a choice in the midst of a challenge. Many days, early on, I gave over to pain, took medication, and retreated into darkness. There was one dark day many months ago when I pulled “The Same River…” from a bookcase – just to remind myself what had inspired me thirteen-years prior. Walker summed it up best,
“You just continue. You just basically keep getting up and making your oatmeal, playing with your dog, doing your work, your life just goes on. And you learn not to accept what is unjust.”
We just keep going. Not because we don’t have any other choice – but because this is the only choice that makes sense. I believe if we are open to what’s good it will enter in. I believe that eventually I will have answers and be well. Until then I will cope and focus on the things in life that are filled with wonder. I will honor the difficult and continue to move forward.
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Read information about the authorAlice Walker, one of the United States’ preeminent writers, is an award-winning author of novels, stories, essays, and poetry. In 1983, Walker became the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction with her novel The Color Purple, which also won the National Book Award. Her other books include The Third Life of Grange Copeland, Meridian, The Temple of My Familiar, and Possessing the Secret of Joy. In her public life, Walker has worked to address problems of injustice, inequality, and poverty as an activist, teacher, and public intellectual.
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