I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

Have you ever ran across a book by somebody and it touched you in ways you didn’t expect so you ended up buying and reading everything the author has ever written? It’s happened to me several times—Richard Ford, Nicholas Sparks, Jan Karon—just to name a few, but I’m finding that it’s happening less often.

I went to Borders last night and was stoked to find several new books—mostly novels—by authors who have written a book I love, only to be disappointed by the topic of their latest book. It’s not that their writing has changed, but they are writing about topics that just don’t interest me.

Donald Miller is not one of those writers. I’ve read nearly all of his books and last night I picked up his latest, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. I love the way book opens:

“The saddest thing about life is you don’t remember half of it. You don’t even remember half of half of it. Not even a tiny percentage, if you want to know the truth. I have this friend Bob who writes down everything he remembers. If he remembers dropping an ice cream cone on his lap when he was seven, he’ll write it down. The last time I talked to Bob, he had written more than five hundred pages of memories. He’s the only guy I know who remembers his life. He said he captures memories, because if he forgets them, it’s as though they didn’t happen; it’s as though he hadn’t lived the parts he doesn’t remember.”

I feel the same way Bob does. I used to feel guilty about it—as if I was spending too much time navel gazing, but I came to the same conclusion Bob did. If I don’t capture memories, they are gone forever and before I know it, entire years are gone and it feels like they didn’t happen. It probably is vain to record details of our lives thinking that somebody else might care enough to actually read about them at some point in the future, but it isn’t vain to record details if it helps a person stay connected to his or her experiences.

Why stay connected?

Because if you don’t, it’s easy to forget who you are.


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