Friday, 17 April 2009
BLOWN AWAY BY A STORY
My birthday season has now come to an end! No more exciting times out, booked for a couple of weeks. So a nice quiet weekend ahead of me and depending on the weather will depend on how much I get from it.
Today though I'm still thoroughly enjoying one of my presents. Kit knows how much I love being brought books, even though are tastes are very different.... him really intelligent hard core books, by authors with unspellable Russian names. Whilst his mother just loves a ripping yarn she can escape into. I also love getting CDs of his choosing as we do like similar music. But this birthday he surpassed himself as he got me three audio books for me to listen to in the car, on some of the many miles I travel weekly.
The first one I have listened to has blown me away. I first heard about this man a few years ago, long before he became as world famous as he is now. I have followed his career with an interest almost bordering on passion, even though he comes from America I have been enthused with him and his politics long before most people in Britain had even registered that a black man was running for President.
So to have Barack Obama reading out loud- Dreams of my Father, in my car is just inspirational. The man is such a natural orator. His words have a wonderful normality about them. Now I, as a white English woman, cannot even begin to understand what it must mean to be a black American, but hearing his book as he struggles to come to terms with who he is over time, is just humbling. The man hides nothing, he swears, he admits to smoking reefers, he even sings. I have never enjoyed listening to a story as much as this.
I have laughed, cried, being moved beyond words, felt warmth, compassion, anger, goosebumps and most of all love towards a man who in this book is an almost touchable human being. There are a couple of times when knowing how history has unfolded that his words stopped me in my tracks to the point that I had to switch off and just stay with the thought of the magnitude of what has happened to this mere mortal since he wrote his words initially.
There are six discs and I'm on the fifth one at the moment, and I already feel a sense of forthcoming loss for when I have listened to them all. I have a habit of not holding on to my books. I give them away, I leave them lying around, I always believe that someone else may enjoy them. And there is no need for me to hang on to them possessively when I will never read them again. But I'm really torn about this CD. If I give it away, will I regret it as I might want to listen to it again (unlikely) Do I keep it, and deny someone else this profound pleasure. And what if they didn't like it, or didn't engage with what Barack says, that would feel awful.
So this is what I think I should do, rather than just hand it over to any old friend, if you want it let me know, and I will give it to you. But I want to know why you want it. And just cause it might be a good read is not the right answer.
I gave a book I was given at Christmas a while back to someone who I really thought needed to read the words it contained, she has said she has someone in mind to pass it on to. This I think is wonderful.
I guess what I'm doing then is almost like a competition, and I shall decide should anyone play along, whose answer I like the most. So either write a comment or email me and I'll get back to you as soon as I've finished listening. And you may be the person who gets to share Barack's words with me.