i bought “to own a dragon” by donald miller back in the fall from powells books in portland.
they shipped it up.
it arrived in a brown envelope.
it quickly made its home squished into the stack as the newest addition of the “books i have every intention of reading” catalogue.
well, i actually started it, but stalled at the end of chapter seven.
i have this horrible habit of starting books then hastily abandoning them for more interesting-looking book covers. i never return to them. i’ve mentioned this before, here.
(years ago i nearly finished “the da vinci code”. i made it to about three-quarters of the way. and literally, in the middle of some crazy chase, i just, meh, lost interest. never picked it up again. didn’t care what happened. still don’t.)
but, i’d like to say i used to have that horrible habit. it’s actually starting to bug me when i do it now. so i left it for a month and when i found it under a pile of stuff, i signed myself up to finish it. to change my habits.
to actually finish books.
as soon as i picked it up, i instantly remembered why i hadn’t made it past chapter seven.
it’s him talking about growing up without a father.
and seeing as i am 1. not a dude and 2. didn’t grow up without a dad, it wasn’t exactly the most relatable read.
but i plowed through and was relieved to find the words i count on miller for – words i can underline and take out.
“during the years i lived with the macmurrays, i discovered children were loud. in the mornings they rise with the sun and get into the cereal before their parents wake. within ten minutes, one of them has stabbed the other with a fork and so you rouse each morning to the sounds of murder.”
“what i am saying here is there had to come a point when i started taking responsibility for my life. i had to start opening envelopes, even if i didn’t feel like it. i had to, because if i didn’t i knew i would become one of these guys whose car is filled with newspapers and fast-food wrappers and stuffed animals in the back window.”
“in the end, women are really attracted to guys who have their crap together.”
“i don’t know how many months, how many years i spent sitting and watching television, complaining to myself about how boring life was.”
“i had put my head in the sand and let life happen to me. i was like a basketball player sitting at center court reading a book, meanwhile the game was happening around me.”
and the wise.
“the most difficult temptation, in chess and in life, is the temptation to react. reacting without thinking never, ever works.”
“maturity practices self-discipline, and points a person’s character toward a nobel aim.”
““i can’t list the number of times i thought life was completely over, that i had ruined everything and was going to end up living in a box under a bridge.
sometimes i wish i could go back in time, sit down with myself and explain things were going to be okay, that everybody loses ground sometimes and it doesn’t mean anything. it’s the way life works. this is hard to understand in the moment. you get to thinking about the girl who rejected you, the job you got fired from, the test you failed, and you lose sight of the big picture – the fact that life has a beautiful way of remaking itself every few weeks.
the things that matter right now aren’t going to matter a month from now, a year from now.”
“catcher in the rye”. i stalled out at page 172.