The Space Between Us, by ‘Thrity Umrigar, was an awesome book club read. The eight of us enjoyed the prose, could relate to the characters, and really learned something by this dip into another culture, in what seems like another time.
Some thoughts from the book that really struck me:
“Surely the body also remembers each kindness, each kiss, each act of compassion? Surely this is our salvation, our only hope — that joy and love are also woven into the fabric of the body, into each sinewy muscle, into the core of each pulsating cell?” (page 104)
“And Sera was fading now, caught in the undertow of an ancient, primal memory, drowning in a pool of sensation and feeling, old hurts and fresh wounds being exorcised from her body, leaving her feeling as bright and new as the day she was born. Paradoxically, as the hurt left her body, she began to weep, as if now that pain had stopped occupying her body, there was at last room for tears.” (page 109)
I felt like that once. I wrote about it in a post called The Darkened Room, but I also wrote about it in my scar tissue removal / lympedema massage from Britta, the practicioner that I saw last year. Absolutely amazing. And something that’s even more current, with the talk in the mamasphere of the losses of Maddie and Thalon:
“All these tears shed in the world, where do they go? she wondered. If one could capture all of them, they could water the parched, drought-stricken fields in Gopal’s village and beyond. The perhaps these tears would have value and all this grief would have meaning.” (page 154)
This is what we’re trying to do with the Mothers With Cancer blog, and with the March for Maddie, and such things. Trying. Trying to not let the tears go to waste.
The last quote, from a character I would like to have known: “Everybody is a poet in my homeland, sahib,” he said. “The country makes you so.” (page 200).
The book is not an easy, lighthearted read, but it is a gripping one, and one that I would totally recommend.