Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Slow Regard of Silent Things

This book is without a doubt the most phenomenal book I have ever read.  It was so different and so fresh and so real.  It's sort of a hard book to recommend, seeing as how it is like a companion novella to a series, and if you haven't read any of the series (the Name of the Wind series, by Patrick Rothfuss, also among my most favorite books ever read), this book could be really confusing.  But I love this book, even in it's confusion.  It is poetic and beautiful and true.  The author claims it is a story about written by a broken person, about a broken person, for broken people.  Maybe that is why I love it so much, because I am broken and this story speaks to my very soul.  But after reading this book, I begin to wonder, why would anyone want to live a different sort of life?  Perhaps it is broken, but it is beautiful.

This book gives us a glimpse of a week in the life of one character, Auri.  Auri is a young woman who for all intents and purposes is homeless and living in abandoned underground buildings in a bustling University city.  In general, she interacts with no one, and is awake and active at night when the rest of the world is asleep.  She is described as broken, and indeed, broken she is.  But oh how she is marvelous.  Her whole world, her whole life, is focused on making sure everything is in it's proper place, that everything is content and happy.  She can sense feelings of inanimate objects and will move around her large underground home and move things around each day to make sure everything is content and in it's proper place.  Her entire focus is outward, she never takes anything selfishly.  For example, at one point she discovers a new room in her underground world which contains a wardrobe with a few sets of new and very expensive sheets that have long been abandoned.  Though her bed doesn't have any sheets, she senses that the sheets would not belong on her bed, that it was not their proper place and it would not make them happy, so she leaves them there and goes without.  Auri lives such a simple life, and for so much of it she is filled with such happiness and joy.  She is happy because everything around her is taken care of and content.

This way of living, the way Auri does, is so appealing to me.  Why don't we all live in a manner similar to this, but instead of focusing on objects, we focus on people?  Why can't we slowly regard the silent things of people, and sense better what they need most for us in that moment?  Why can't we make our focus on helping others instead of focusing on our selfish desires?  Why can't we focus on the simple things, the simple joys of life and living?