For a month now I've been working to get books donated to a prison where a peaceful protester has been sentenced. Coordinating the donation of books to the prison has turned out to be both frustrating and funny. Meanwhile someone in OHIO heard about my efforts and donated a bunch of books to a prison there. So talk about unexpected ripples?? How great is that.
Still, "my" prison has yet to receive books.
So I need to mail a brand new book to him personally. That way at least ONE book gets to him, right now. asap. Imagine a professor, a good mind like that, stuck in a cell for almost two months, with nothing to read.
But WHICH book? He can't make phone calls and he's written to me once but writing back and forth takes two weeks. He is a family friend but I don't him that well I could choose the ONE book he'd be delighted to see.
So I got to thinking about books. What they do for us. Why they are so important. What KINDS of books one would choose, if one were stranded on a desert island with only a single book for company and distraction and comfort.
What book would you choose to send to a stranded friend on a desert island? We can't do religious since for many the Bible or equally divine and important books would be obvious. We can't do non-fiction. The desert island has rules we have to abide by strictly. Nothing gory or violent of course so our favorite serial killer and mystery and science fiction is out. Besides our friend doesn't read that stuff. He's a very gentle man.
I write to him almost every day. I want something bright or fun or loving to come into the cell, every day, for a moment. It's hard not to despair, when a good person defending the earth and the environmental safety of people, completely peacefully, goes to high security prison for six months. That's...not what we want to believe any of the free countries in the world would do. The injustice of it is rippling throughout the world--there was an article in the German paper (thank you Germany) and although this happened in CN, it's (big shock) a US owned company that's being protested. But let's not dwell on that. Here in TOOLS we think about what uplifts and inspires people, what informs and strengthens and comforts us?
Book. A single book. It might be the only one your friend on the island gets. What would it be?
(Here's my dad, years ago, reading us The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. We always read to each other at Christmas. That's a book I treasure.)