Warning, this is going to be long because I very rarely get moved on such a profound level that I feel compelled to stand up on a milk crate, acknowledge it, and spew (what pushes the limits of unabashed idol worship-type) love. But it’s necessary. Critically necessary. I need to get this out. And if there’s anyone who will understand, I think it’s you. (Thanks, ahead of time, for not judging me, or calling me a lunatic.)
You know when you hear a song for the first time and every word touches you? You hear it at just the perfect time in your life and every verse is poetic and life changing and/or life affirming? And you just know that it will leave its undeniable mark on you, in some way or another, for the rest of your life? And you just sit there stunned out of your goddamn mind, because you realize how rare a moment like that is and what a mind-blowing gift you’ve just been given? And all you want to do is hit rewind on your life, like it’s your old eighties cassette player, and experience it again for the very first time, but you don’t, because a) you don’t have a cassette player time machine, and b) a re-do would strip it of its once-in-a-lifetime magic? So you just sit there and bask in the afterglow and smile like a fool (and maybe pump your fist in the air for good measure) while you try to decide if this is something you need to share with the entire world (because you don’t want anyone else to miss out on the epiphany), or if it’s so damn special you want to hug it and tuck it away in a safe place and keep it all to yourself?
That’s how I felt this weekend.
But it wasn’t a song.
It was a book.
A book I’ve been told to read time and time again.
A book I knew nothing about and went into completely blind.
A book that I handed over all control to. I crawled inside, from the very first page, and breathed through its words for two days. I highlighted like a mofo, and I rarely highlight. I read many, MANY passages out loud to my husband. I said, “Yes. YES. HELL YES!! HE GETS IT!!” more times than I can count (in my head and out loud) while reading.
Sometimes in life there are collisions that force you to pay attention. Sometimes they’re subtle, like a gentle prod, that can be easily overlooked unless you have your eyes WIDE open. And sometimes the impact is bone-jarring, like someone has a firm grip on both of your shoulders and is shaking you with a whiplash-inducing passion. This book felt like the later. And I loved every minute of it.
I literally want to stand on my rooftop, with a bullhorn, and scream until all of the air/volume/appreciation/adoration has been forced out of my lungs. And even then I want to scream for another ten minutes. The screams would likely be unintelligible rambling because I wouldn’t be able to find the right words to express what I’m feeling and what this book meant to me.
Because this book…
This book made my tired, uninspired soul sit up and blink the sleep out of its eyes. It made me think, “Fuck. THIS is how it’s done.” Not just the sheer, raw, honest beauty of the words strung together. But the simple, but yet so fucking complex, POWER of that beauty.
I’m not a religious person. I find my faith in the hugs of my son, the laughter of my husband, the inspiration induced by art in all its forms: including paintings, and nature, and WORDS, among other random things, people, and places. Faith isn’t complicated for me, but when it comes it takes my breath away. That was this book for me. The right words at just the right time.
Paul Hudson, from this day forward, is my goddamn hero.
And Tiffanie DeBartolo is a living, breathing goddess.
Please, please, PLEASE read How To Kill a Rock Star.