Of the five books I am reading (at any one time), the book, Bread Givers, by Anzia Yezierska came to me by way of the paperbackswap.com website. Do you know it? You post ten books you don’t want anymore. Whenever anyone orders the book from you, you agree to send it to them for free. In return, this allows you to order a book from another member for free. Some of the best obscure books on my shelves come from here.
Best=books no one else wanted.
Like other websites, this one wants to predict what I would also like. Chances are if I ordered a book about *bread* I might also like a book about jam and eggplant. Or a book about crust and pie dough? MarketingUSA is certain there is a formula that will explain myself to me. The cynic in me scoffs at this. I’ve yet to figure out myself and so I wonder why Amazon and Ebay are certain they can predict my taste or my next purchase.
Still and all. Some things in life are common to us all. I could start a list of our common denominators and by item five your eyes would glaze over and you’d toggle off to another blog. Or, I predict, you might stand up and walk into your kitchen and fix yourself a ham sandwich and a plate of sliced eggplant. But wait. Just as you poke your head into the frig, wondering if you are out of mustard, you remember that I’ve not explained the photo in this blog. So you close the frig and come back to read the rest of this post.
This is a used book. Someone else was here before I was. Between page one and page thirty-seven, these words are underlined: pious, lame, sinful, boarders, dowry, beggar. Someone was reading a book about something foreign to her. When I reached page thirty-five, I learned that the person before me did not know what burden meant.
When I reached that part in the book last night, I stopped reading and have been thinking about burden ever since. When was it, in my life, that I didn’t understand the term? I know I lived a stretch of time where the notion of bearing a burden would have been foreign to me, but I don’t remember that stretch in time anymore.
What and whom defines burden? Is it all about attitude? How many rocks (and when I say rocks I mean burdens) piled upon more rocks become too many?
When I read and when I connect with others, I realize that part of what I enjoy is learning how others pile their rocks. What adds to the pile and what lessens the weight of all those rocks? It’s not something I dwell on, but since the person before me didn’t know what burden meant, I realize I do know what it means. I know what it feels like and I know you do, too. But the negative vibes that result when we say burden are what I balk at. It seems to me that when said burden (and when I say burden I mean rock) comes into our life, a great way to deal with it is to make art. Build the pile, spread it out on canvas, layer it inside a poem, paste it inside a blog. Stand back and take its photo.