While Rexburg was becoming increasingly uncomfortable for a variety of reasons, it had its up-side (especially for me): proximity to extended family, our lovely home and yard, and my university faculty status which provided me with engaging work combined with substantial time off during holidays and summers. Most of that has changed now. This indeed is a new life chapter for us, wide with possibilities, but there have also been loses--loses I've so far struggled to accept.
After my last client yesterday, I was passing time before feeling comfortable enough to walk out of the office a bit early; I decided to check my book's sales for the first time on Amazon.com. What did I find? Nine. That's 9... Nine hardback copies of my book have sold since it became available in early July of this year. I paused for a moment, and realized that I probably knew personally each of my nine customers. This was indeed a reality check about myself, and book writing in general--it will take you years, and most likely, won't change a thing about your life.
Despite this realization, I've decided to make an attempt to encourage further conversation about life's ultimate questions (some of which were raised in my book) via this blog post (Confession: before today, I've never written nor even read a blog). This seems especially appropriate on this day, the 13th anniversary of the September 11th terrorists attacks. I think it appropriate to pause for a few moments to remember the thousands of victims who met a catastrophic and premature end on that day. In the spirit of Objectification Spectrum, the renowned author Ian McEwan put it all succinctly, and I'll let him be today's final word: "If the 9/11 hijackers had been able to imagine themselves into the thoughts and feelings of the passengers, they would have been unable to proceed. It is hard to be cruel once you permit yourself to enter the mind of your victim. Imagining what it is like to be someone other than yourself is at the core of our humanity. It is the essence of compassion, and it is the beginning of morality." (from Only Love, and then Oblivion, The Guardian, Sept. 15, 2001)