I can tell a lot by their surroundings, but their book shelves are like a window into the inner domain of their hearts and minds, what is most important to them of all. Childrearing, gardening, mystery novels, cooking, Bibles, kids books....My newest client is no exception.
He continues to be resistant to help, and I continue to be present with him, accepting him as he is. He wants me to leave him alone, so he barks out, "Why don't you go for a walk?" "Go find something to do!" What he really means is find something to do that does not include him. LOL
I tour his house like its a museum and in some ways it is.....it is the remnants of his past life. A huge, robust and powerful existence it must have been. The art work that he, at one point chose, to hang on his walls is meaningful, beautiful. His dishes are made of pottery with matching pottery drinking glasses. Very unique....and that he was drawn to that rather than just some simple unbreakable bachelor-worthy Correlle ware... Says something to me. He cared about his surroundings. He hand picked beautiful things, he could afford to create a tangible quality environment for himself. His clothes are from REI, his underwear aren't just the "buy a bag" Hanes from Walmart.
And his bookshelves.....show me his brilliant mind. A mind able to put various pieces together and create a whole. A brilliant scientific mind. I used those words with him and he blushed and turned away and said it wasn't true. I commented that if he came to my house, he would find the polar opposite of what is on his shelves. He chuckled. Progress!!! Math, physics, Freud, architecture, politics, nature, but nothing that would show an interest or a faith in something larger than himself.
As I work with him, I see that his faith was in himself, his own abilities, in his own best thinking.....and now that has crumbled around him and he is left afraid, angry, and frantically trying to rebuild what has been lost, not knowing any other way. A couple days a week I get to go over and be a friendly face, a presence that expects nothing from him, that can step back and allow him to forge onward on his own, or be available if he "barks" for me. Lol
What would your bookshelf tell me about you?
If you all came to my house, I have a room filled with books. Even when we lived in our tiny little house, I had books everywhere. The dad built beautiful built in book shelves for me on each side of our wood stove. That little house....so much good living took place there. The kids were little, I homeschooled there, that wood stove was our only heat source and we were never cold in the winter. We used a swamp cooler in the summer and it kept the living room cool. We used fans in the evening...life was simple and good. That house only had a bath tub when we first moved in...I loved it all and didn't want any modernizations....no central heat and air, the bath tub was fine...but I was in the minority. Lol Soon we had a shower.
Today we have a much larger house, and my books are all wedged in their shelves and stacked on window sills, in the room we call "the big room." I have some children's literature that I just can't part with, because someday I WILL have grand children!! Elsa Beskow was my favorite, Shel Silverstein, Roald Dahl, Laura Ingalls Wilder. Loads of recovery books, books that nurture and teach about my faith, daily readers, novels, gardening, how to roof your house and build stone walk way books, how to raise chickens, how to knit, how to parent, how to be married, books about sex, books about dyslexia, famous artists, photographic journals, books about death and dying, how to train your dog, books about essential oils, cooking, hiking, running, diet and exercise, massage...on and on and on I could go. My friends come over and love to go in there and look through everything. Lol You can look around on my book shelves and know my passions immediately. Know who I am, what makes me tick, what is important to me.
So tell me about your book shelves. What would I find if I could come and see you in your element? Surrounded by the things you love?
Lord, bless us all with the knowledge of you, exactly where we are at this moment.