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2/11/2015

TRYIN’ AGAIN…

Filed under: prairie musings, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 5:04 pm

I had a blog almost completed the other day then hit the wrong key and sent it to neverland.  It’s exasperating to have that happen as I can’t duplicate what I said.  It’s never the same the second time around. So…to start again…with new topics.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed is well worth the time it takes to read, which isn’t long, as  I had trouble putting it down even though I knew while reading it that she made it through the solo trek along the Pacific Crest Trail alive or I wouldn’t be reading a book she wrote about it. I don’t know how she endured the pain of her tortured feet or the intense heat and lack of food and water, which would have been major obstacles for me back in the days when I was in good shape.  Add to that the rattlesnakes and bears and other imponderables, and it was a superhuman accomplishment on her part.  I had to relate the various episodes to my lunch mates…Hazel, Margie and Ivy… to keep them abreast of the author’s progress.  They just shuddered in disbelief.

The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT) is a treasured pathway through some of the most outstanding scenic terrain in the United States. Beginning in southern California at the Mexican border, the PCT travels a total distance of 2,650 miles through California, Oregon, and Washington until reaching the Canadian border. I think it encompasses the John Muir Trail which is a challenging task of its own.  The scenery is some of the most beautiful in the world.  It’s a far more difficult and longer challenge than the Appalachian Trail which is also more heavily populated with adventurous souls.

Another interesting book I just read was Gone Girl.  Gillian Flynn, the author, has an amazing head on her shoulders and comes up with material I’m sure never enters the minds of most of us.  I’ve also read Sharp Objects that she wrote.  Read at your own peril. Gone Girl is a fantastic read.
Now, I’m reading Sonia Sotomayor’s My Beloved World.  In nominating Judge Sotomayor to the highest court in the land, President Obama pointed out that her life story was the embodiment of the American dream. She grew up poor in a Bronx housing project at a time when gangs were carving up the neighborhood, learned she had juvenile diabetes when she was seven and lost her father a couple of years later. She would go on to Princeton (where she won the prestigious Pyne Prize), Yale Law School, the Manhattan district attorney’s office and ultimately the Supreme Court, where she became the nation’s first Hispanic justice.   If I had the opportunity to have dinner with anyone alive (other than family), she’d be one of my first picks.  She’s an amazing woman.

Right off the bat she wrote about something I really could relate to:  She had been writing about achieving our dreams though challenges and why does adversity spur us on rather than knocking us down? She said: ” A student recently posed another question that gave me pause:  Given that there are only nine Supreme Court Justices, each with life tenure, can anyone realistically aspire to such a goal?  How do we hold on to dreams  that, statistically, are almost impossible?”  …she goes on to say that becoming a SCJ would invariably elude the vast majority of aspirants…and although she wanted to be a judge, being a SCJ  never occurred to her except as the remotest of fantasies.

And here is the good part I thought… “But experience has taught me that you cannot value dreams according to the odds of their coming true. Their real value is in stirring within us the will to aspire.  That will, wherever it finally leads, does at least move you forward.  And after a time you may recognize that the proper measure of success is not how much you’ve closed the distance to some far-off goal but the quality of what you’ve done today.”

Next up:  Girl on the Train
So much for my love of books.

Thanks for tuning in…

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