I finished this book a few days ago, but I had to take some time to sort out my thoughts on the book.

I thought it was well written and the descriptions were great. I always enjoyed reading translated books because one got a sense of a different culture and a different way of thought. This book was no different.

For me, I found the notion of traveling and the discovery of the past through moving forward very appealing. When traveling (and this could be a physical move through cities or a more philosophical move through new people) one looks for the things that are familiar. After one has weeded out the familiar, it is then one discovers what makes this person or place different. Also, in one’s mind one starts thinking about the past and what  it has taught the person.

Take this for an example. I traveled to London, England and then three months later I went to Boston. Because of my experience of being alone in a foreign city and also the way in which I navigated the tube stations, when I went to Boston, I felt like I owned the city. I had no problem understanding the metro stops (even though in Philadelphia I still fear SEPTA and won’t use it) and I felt comfortable walking around Boston. It was because Boston reminded me of London. I was not afraid of the city and I was able to move past my fear of being in an unfamiliar place in order to fall in love with Boston.

The same is true for friends. We all have a check list in our minds of what makes a good friend for us. As we meet people, we evaluate them and use our check list to see how they match up. Is this person loyal? Check. Can they make me laugh? Check. Would they be grossed out if I talked about bodily functions? Nope and check. Do they support me? Yes and check. After we are familiar with all the characteristics of the new person, we can see what new things they can offer us and maybe even learn other qualities we should be looking for in ourselves and friends.

By moving forward in the future, we look back in the past. I know people say never look back and let the past stay were it is, but for me I can’t. I want to use my new knowledge to understand my past. I need to figure out the lessons my past was trying to show me and I can only do that by time and distance.

I’m reading Henry and June now.  I should be done by the weekend and trust me, I have plenty to say about that book.

Don’t forget to check out my book review at http://www.brevitymag.com and while you are there, read some of the blogs posted.