Messages from Above

I don’t normally consider myself to be overly superstitious, but when a single book decides to free itself from the bookshelf and fall to my bed, I start wondering if there might not be some hidden message.

This morning, I was awakened by a loud tinging sound. The sound registered in my sleeping mind immediately. It was the sound of a book hitting the lower wire rack of my hanging bookshelf which holds my seldom-used stereo, a few feet above my bed.

I’m not sure of the exact trajectory the book took, but in order for it to strike the lower shelf – especially in an exposed area – it seems to me to have been a fairly rare and extraordinary feat.

As I slept soundly, stealing another minute of much-needed sleep, the book cascaded from the top shelf, careened past the various tomes, self-help and creativity/writing books, missed taking out the two piles of CDs precariously piled on top of the stereo, and plopped down directly next to my computer. A layer of dust was deposited on the closed cover of my laptop.

When I opened my eyes, I was expecting to witness further books falling from the shelves. That would probably explain my reaction of pulling my hands and arms up around my head, instinctively preparing myself for the onslaught of falling books. (A secret fear is that one day the screws holding my solidly packed bookshelves will let go in a single moment of irony, spilling the contents on top of my sleeping and prone body… burying me under the weight of the same books that are meant to help me and smothering the life’s breath out of my lungs. There was a famous case in New York City some years back about a pair of siblings who were “collectors” of books, newspapers and magazines who met a similar demise when the piles caved in on them. I do not want to become a little blurb in a newspaper – under News of the Weird – some day… Perhaps I should consider rearranging my bedroom.)

I’m relieved to report that a further onslaught didn’t happen.

In fact, the books all appear to be quite stable in the various stacks.

So I am left to wonder why a single book was summarily discharged from the ranks.

It’s not like we have earthquakes in Minnesota. Although, we have had them in the past. No, I prefer to think that perhaps this is a message from above. OK, so it’s only about 4.5 feet above…

The book?

Writing from the Source – Techniques for Re-scripting Your Life by Alison Price.

From the various papers stuffed between the pages, it looks like I first used the book a year after its publication, 2000. Unfortunately, it also appears that I only made it a few chapters into the book before some other topic or crisis made me shelve the book for later use. Given the calendar sheets carefully folded within the pages of the book, I think that it would be safe to assume that this was a another New Years resolution gone awry. Started and finished while caught in the throes of another cold, bleak winter.

Actually, I just took a break to re-read the intro and the first couple of chapters.

I suspect that I shelved the book due to the fact that the numerous questions that it asked and the amount of journaling involved, were hitting too close to home. There it is, the book was working.

And that, no doubt, frightened me. Or at least made me uncomfortable.

Perhaps I shouldn’t be so hard on myself – maybe I just wasn’t in the right spot at the time.


It’s a blur, really.

My 80’s and 90’s were distinctively marked by relationships.

OK, let’s be honest, it was a single relationship (JB) and a mistake (DL). But at least those years have some memories that differentiate one year from the next.

After 1995, the dating stopped. I was tired of having my heart broken, my dreams of a life together happily ever-after dashed by repeated drama queen episodes of emotional discontent.

Yes, folks, that’s right. A decade of celibacy.

Now I’m depressed.

Before, I was just in denial.

My dreams some nights are filled with images from the past. Of times real or imagined. Of love and companionship. Of being one with another.

Then I am awakened by my alarm clock, I mourn what could have been, and ready myself for another day at a meaningless, unfulfilling job that barely pays the bills.

Sadly, I just realized that my life is very similar to Bill Murray’s “Groundhog Day”.

Actually, it isn’t just my life that resembles this – it applies to practically everyone I know… We all have the same routine day-in, day-out. Some of them just have sex.

Hmm, guess I’m going to have to spend some time reading this book. It may indeed have been a message from above….