When you are 13 years old,
the heat will be turned up too high
and the stars will not be in your favor.
You will hide behind a bookcase
with your family and everything left behind.
You will pour an ocean into a diary.
When they find you, you will be nothing
but a spark above a burning bush,
still, tell them
Despite everything, I really believe people are good at heart.
When you are 14,
a voice will call you to greatness.
When the doubters call you crazy, do not listen.
They don’t know the sound
of their own God’s whisper. Use your armor,
use your sword, use your two good hands.
Do not let their doubting
drown out the sound of your own heartbeat.
You are the Maid of Untamed Patriotism.
Born to lead armies into victory and unite a nation
like a broken heart.
When you are 15, you will be punished
for learning too proudly. A man
will climb onto your school bus and insist
your sisters name you enemy.
When you do not hide,
he will point his gun at your temple
and fire three times. Three years later,
in an ocean of words, with no apologies,
you will stand before the leaders of the world
and tell them your country is burning.
When you are 16 years old,
you will invent science fiction.
The story of a man named Frankenstein
and his creation. Soon after you will learn
that little girls with big ideas are more terrifying
than monsters, but don’t worry.
You will be remembered long after
they have put down their torches.
When you are 17 years old,
you will strike out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig
one right after the other.
Men will be afraid of the lightening
in your fingertips. A few days later
you will be fired from the major leagues
because “Girls are too delicate to play baseball”
You will turn 18 with a baby on your back
leading Lewis and Clark
across North America.
You will turn 18
and become queen of the Nile.
You will turn 18
and bring justice to journalism.
You are now 18, standing on the precipice,
trembling before your own greatness.
This is your call to leap.
There will always being those
who say you are too young and delicate
to make anything happen for yourself.
They don’t see the part of you that smolders.
Don’t let their doubting drown out the sound
of your own heartbeat.
You are the first drop of a hurricane.
Your bravery builds beyond you. You are needed
by all the little girls still living in secret,
writing oceans made of monsters and
throwing like lightening.
You don’t need to grow up to find greatness.
You are stronger than the world has ever believed you to be.
The world laid out before you to set on fire.
All you have to do
It’s obvious to me that very few readers have a favorite book. What’s been nice about this challenge is that I was able to share almost all my favorite books with you, via one prompt or another. But there are two books left on my list of absolute favorites that I wanted to give a shout-out:
1. The Green Mile by Stephen King
Like me, you probably think “Stephen King” and think “horror.” I’m not a fan of the horror genre because I’m a big baby, but I absolutely loved this book. It is creepy at times, and there are some graphic depictions of violence— but all in all it’s an incredibly moving portrait of humanity, pain, and the value of life. It’s absolutely one of my favorites.
2. A River Runs through It by Norman Maclean
This book has some of the most gorgeous writing I have ever read. You will never read another book where the author spends 30 pages describing fly-fishing in detail, and feel completely flooded with poetry and gorgeous imagery. I wish Norman Maclean had written more books, but I am really thankful for this one. It’s funny, heartbreaking, and so, so, incredibly beautiful.
Fun fact: Both of these books were adapted into really fantastic films.
Well, that wraps up the 30-day book challenge for me— it was fun and challenging; I’m pretty sure if you took all my text posts previous to this, it would be a smaller word count than these last 30 days. I encourage you book lovers out there to try it! Signing off…
This is a really hard one to answer. I mean, usually people are talking about the books they really liked, not the ones they hated. Usually if people hate a book they don’t finish it, or if they do, they don’t really talk about it. Or maybe they just didn’t pick it up in the first place because it wasn’t their cup of tea. So I was reduced to picking from books I read for school, which everyone had to read and comment on, whether they liked it or not. Here’s what I ended up with:
I really liked this book because I believe it’s a really powerful commentary on colonialism and the “other.” Conrad was discussing racism before there was even a word for it, which is crazy. Also, his writing is haunting and beautiful, full of rich imagery. I think it’s still an important book, though there are of course a ton of other really fantastic works that address colonialism and its effect from the African perspective— and I’m glad I’ve read some of those, too.
Anyway. It’s not an easy read, and many of my classmates were not fans; some believed it accomplished the opposite of what I think Conrad was trying to do— but I think it’s worth reading, and it definitely made me think.
Titles should speak for themselves, but I love it when they have intricate bearings on the story inside, like this this one— my favorite:
The title is drawn from the Upanishads:
“In this body, in this town of Spirit, there is a little house shaped like a lotus, and in that house there is a little space. There is as much in that little space within the heart as there is in the whole world outside.”
Freaking gorgeous. That’s all I have to say.
Other great titles with stories that live up to them: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Little Altars Everywhere by Rebecca Welles, and A Swiftly Tilting Planet— also by Madeleine L’Engle.