All of this reminded me of a book I have read; almost everything reminds me of a book I have read. It's perhaps slightly annoying that I am forever quoting somebody, somewhere, something I read once.
"Sing Them Home. Stephanie Kallos. You should read that book," I offered. "You can borrow mine."
I loan books easily, given my stamp on the inside and the borrower's forgiveness of my handwriting, doodles, and notes throughout.
I pulled it off the shelf at home, and I flipped through the pages. A brief revisit before I send this book on a field trip. Sure enough, my handwriting was woven throughout.
I underline turns of phrases, metaphors, word pictures, and masterful language. I circle words worth repeating; I draw brackets around parts that seem especially applicable to something I've been thinking.
(This makes it nearly impossible for me to borrow books from the library: they believe I don't respect their pages, and I believe they don't understand my need to read with a pen in hand. Need.)
Aside from several occasions of tornadoes in the storyline, I had forgotten that one of the main characters loses her husband to death by lightning strike on the golf course in the opening scene of the novel.
(I give away no secrets. It's the opening scene, people.)
And suddenly, I realized that this book was less about tornadoes and primarily about enduring grief and loss.
I read it in February, 2010. Ten months before my own test of endurance would begin.
I find this page dog-eared.
"If there is anything I have learned in my life, it's that so very little is within our control. Our passions arise to surprise us. Our loves jump out at us like boogeymen as we round a dark corner or open the closet. We try and we try to make things fit, to steer the events of our lives a certain way, to create boundaries of experience and feeling, to wall ourselves off from one another, to stop love - which should never be stopped, ever - and my dears, it simply cannot be done.
Heartbreak has a counterpart. Turn it over, and you will know that that which tells you I am gone can tell you just as convincingly that I am here.
Turn the coin over. After I am gone, find me on the other side of heartbreak. Look and see and know that you are my best beloved..."
Underlined. Starred. Bracketed.
Ten months before my own journey of endurance, my own funnel cloud.
It leaves me thinking about another coin with two sides:
things I might subconsciously anticipate,
things I would never want to know before it happens.
Perhaps I should read the book again.