Saturday, March 10, 2012

Something Like Beautiful by asha bandele

The gifted writer asha bandele!

1 Corinthians 13:13:And now these three remain: faith, hope and
love. But the greatest of these is love.
I am a true sucker for love. I love great love stories; they really make my heart glad. But, I am learning that love does not always have the type of ending that we think it should. Love takes all types of shapes and forms. There are people who love each other, but really can't stand to be around each other for long, there are people who love each other, but for whatever reason or reasons, they just can't be together. But one thing that I know for sure is that self love is really the greatest love of all, and it does conquer all. Once we really love and accept ourselves, it becomes so much easier to love and accept others with our whole heart. Love is soooo good.

With that being said, asha bandele sho' nuff knows how to write a good love story. She puts words together in a way that makes her books seem urgent, it seems as if she is trying to tell the entire story in one breathe, while the reader anxiously sits and listens and hate for that one breathe to end.

The first book that I read by asha bandele was The Prisoner's Wife, and all I can say about this book is that it is a love story like no love story that I have ever read. It is written in a fashion that makes the reader want to really support this love, really want this love to overcome every obstacle, and really have a happy ending. (Those fairy tales have surely messed a lot of us up.) I met asha at the Essence Festival in New Orleans, and I ran up to her and said, "What happened to you and Rashid?" I really wanted this story to have a happy ending like Cinderella's!

With The Prisoner's Wife, asha had me hooked with the first paragraph:

"This is a love story like every love story I had always known, like no story I could ever have imagined. It's everything beautiful--bright colors, candle-scented rooms, orange silk, and lavender amethyst. It's everything grotesque, disfigured. It's long twisting wounds, open and unhealed, nerves pricked raw, exposed."
After this first paragraph to emphasize that this IS a love story, asha continues to repeat "This is a love story," and she uses many, many analogies to describe this love such as "it's an Alvin Ailey dance," and if you have ever seen the Ailey Ailey dance troupe, you know exactly what she is talking. If you have not seen the Alvin Ailey troupe, please go and see them and see how tragically, beautifully those dancers dance. Tragically beautiful because while they are dancing no one is smiling, the audience is really looking in disbelief and wondering how can anyone move his body like that. But, once the dance is over, the entire audience breathes and smiles with relief because the tragically beautiful dances ends without one flaw that is noticeable to the audience.

When I finished reading The Prisoner's Wife, all I could do was shake my head and say my, my, my......... I really wanted more. And, almost twelve years later, asha has given us more of that love story with Something Like Beautiful.

With Something Like Beautiful, asha picks up where The Prisoner's Wife left off. Asha, and Rashid, her prisoner husband, has had a daughter, and asha must deal with the fact that she and Rashid will more than likely never be together. This book is her journey to deal with being in love with a man who may never get out of prison, being a single mom, being adopted, being molested as a child, alcohol abuse, physical and emotional abuse from a lover, depression, and in this midst of all of these struggles, finding herself and realizing that "And if it did, if all of this happened on my watch and if it is not simply my cross to bear, but a cross that I allowed and that I willingly offered to carry alone, I want to say I'm sorry." 

Asha tells this story just as beautifully as she told the first part of this story in The Prisoner's Wife. This girl really knows how to tell a story.

Asha and I are around the same age, and reading her story, I could really identify with asha going on a journey to be present everyday in her life, because that is just where I am. Once I turned 40, this huge light bulb came on in my life, and I was able to see my life clearly because of this new light. (Thank God for Light.) I made a conscious decision to show up wherever I am on any given day in any given moment, because I want to be present in my life and in the lifes of the people whom I care about. 

Asha pretty much sums up how I feel and many other women feel who are on this incredible journey called life. Women who are determined to ride this thing out for all that it is worth. Here is what she says in a conversation with her sister:
"But I want to claim my life now, for all that it has been and all that it has not been..... This is my life... I want to have it and have it fully, no matter what that means."

These two books by asha bandele are works of art..... and all I can do is wave my hand!

Read these books PLEASE, and let's have a conversation!!!!!

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