Wednesday, April 16, 2008

people who've inspired me

these are people who've had a significant impact on my outlook.

+madeleine l'engle. she is a writer of children's fiction as well as reflective memoir style non-fiction (and poetry). in her books i found an idealized world of intellectuals who had faith and who thought about the world, science, nature, and responsibility. i think she helped me to start seeing my belief in God from a different angle, which was helpful for that critical time in high school.

+mark strand. for this one poem, which touched me when i needed to hear it.

+robin lee graham. he sailed around the world alone as a teenager. this book opened up to me the world of adventure, travel & exploration, which i read a great deal about for some time. it always seemed like a world that wasn't really available to me. even though i grew up in bolivia, my life wasn't one of rock climbing, sailing, or exploring the wilderness, like i wanted to. as an adult, however, i've taken some amazing road trips, snorkeled in the bahamas, climbed on rocks, camped in the back country, had a bear encounter (more than one actually), and taken sailing lessons. of course, it is never enough.

+dan price. the author of a little book called radical simplicity, he tells with wonderful sketches about all the ways he's lived a non-traditional life, breaking free of the mortgage trap and living in a series of huts, tents, yurts and hobbit dwellings. reading this book started me truly knowing that i could and had to live in a weird house i built with my own hands. (this one's for you, bethany).

+mom and dad. even though we have our struggles, my parents are heroes to me. they have chosen to live meaningful lives, helping others and doing things that matter. i have started to see ways in which my choices mirror theirs. mom's legacy is amazing--painting, playing the piano, speaking 7 languages, being a nurse & midwife, living in the jungle in a bamboo hut on stilts in malaysia when she was 23, marrying late and having 4 children by c-section in bolivia starting at age 39. she is my heroic wild woman. now she gardens and talks to the cats, the flowers, the bees, the birds. she composes music and revels in scripture and travels and continues to inspire me.

dad is generous, always opening his heart to those in need, in prison, immigrants, outsiders. he loves to read, he is an idealist, he believes in Truth and that it will not fail us. he invented popcorn & games and the rowdy hide and seek game that thrilled and scared us to death and made mom nervous. now he's travelling more than ever, racking up millions (literally) of miles on airlines and driving all over the place.

+m. scott peck. The Road Less Travelled changed my life. I guess it's corny, since it's a self-help book, but I took it seriously. When I moved out here to NJ it came into my life from a friend's bookshelf. Over the course of months I read it and it shaped my thinking about my life habits, taking responsibility and being more disciplined. It also was a turning point because it opened me to the wisdom of eastern thought as supplementing, rather than threatening, my Christian faith.

+c. s. lewis. His writing took everything I knew about my faith and made me see it in a different light, from a different perspective. "This is a myth that is true." I feel like I still have much to discover and learn from him. I want to think and read more about world myths, the story of the Christ, Jungian archetypes, Lord of the Rings (written by his friend Tolkien). It's all connected.

+adam, my boyfriend. i respect his art, which is an embodiment of his sensitivity and honesty. having adam in my life has challenged me to be more honest. i look forward to more adventures and discoveries and to making things together.

there are so many more.

1 comment:

Erlandson Family said...

i love what you wrote about your parents.. i smiled and felt lonely for your old memories at the same time...