Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Day CLVII: Told

It's like walking through the heat all day with no water

Lately, I've had a great deal of success with my book choices. Nearly everything I've stumbled upon, paged through, or picked up has been remarkable.

Still, we have our favorites. And even in the midst of stellar selections, there are titles that are more poignant than others.

For me, Celeste Ng's Everything I Never Told You is that book. Ng's story chronicles a mixed-race family living in 1970s Ohio. Immediately--page one--the reader is told that Lydia, the oldest daughter of the Lee family, is dead. The following pages disclose a grieving family, long-kept secrets, and a stunning-sometimes-agonizing portrait of one family's struggle to move on. Filled with distressing family dynamics and several helpings of tragic, compellingly readable relationships, Everything I Never Told You is a thoughtful look at how we break and how we mend.

To me, the heart of Ng's work is the pain of the secret. 

The secret that binds us, that exclude us, that haunts us, that breaks us, that defines us.

Renowned physician Paul Tournier wrote, "Nothing makes us so lonely as our secrets."

And I think he had a point.

Or losing in an argument, can't get your thoughts in order

Vulnerability is a word I throw around a lot on this space. And I don't think it's too far removed from "secret." In a sad sort of way, they're opposites. When you're a practicing, vulnerable person, you cannot subscribe to secrets, at least not very often. When you do, there is this immense and painful guilt, a tumor festering inside your stomach, aching to be cut out.

Someone hand me the scalpel.

Oh, the truth spills out

And perhaps I live alone on this planet of secretlessness. 

But I doubt it.

And while there are times I feel that sickening pit swell within me and choose to go on living with its constant, pecking reminder, I'd rather not.

Sometimes, it's hard to open up your mouth and let those around you share in that misery.





Oh, I, I've told you now

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