Are books sacred to you?

by | Sep 7, 2020 | Blog | 3 comments

Books are sacred to me because stories are sacred to me, as are the people who tell them.

Whether these stories are born of imagination or experiences, they are all somehow true. And truth is sacred.

Books are sacred in the way they present a universal story in a single page. They are sacred in the way they confront our story through another’s.

Books are sacred because they can make me cry, and laugh, at myself and for others too. And all laughter and all tears are sacred.

In this way, perhaps, books are less sacred altar than sacred pilgrimage. The mountainous, lonely trek takes the pilgrim to many holy places, but the journey itself becomes the vehicle to the sacred in the traveler.

Books are not simply sacred destinations we can visit and leave again, tucking our texts back onto a dusty shelf. They are the pilgrimage itself; the stories take hold and stay with us, long after the pages are closed.

Books are sacred because they point us to ourselves – and in so doing, of course, they point us towards others too. And then, as I share my thrill in a sacred text with you, I connect to the sacred in you also – inviting you to bear witness to your own experiences of the textually Divine.

And even if I keep my thrill silent, cradling and gurgling with satisfaction close to my heart, the book has nevertheless connected us – my single page now has a story and has traveled across emotional mountains and valleys and into new landscapes of humanity… to you.

****************

In many conversations over many years, Third Culture Kids have told me of books.

They tell me of the hiding places these books offered them – a place to go internally when the world around them became overwhelming. The characters taught, guided and explained worlds we often found more appealing than the ones in which we lived. After all, these heroes would explain to us their thoughts and motivations – an appealing scenario when we’d often find ourselves alternately confused by the social situations around us, or confusing others ourselves.

These books might have been our most stable peer group – the Secret Seven gang stayed with me while friends flew away, and The Little House on the Prairie stayed home, while others came and went. And I learnt what I wanted (or thought I wanted!) from friendships from these books too… Anne of Green Gables especially left me with a longing for a “bosom buddy” for years!

TCKs talk about the texts they read that informed them of their ‘TCKness’ with a gratitude often bordering upon reverence. These books or blogs have revealed truth to them about themselves, and connected them to a whole population which whom they can now feel a sense of belonging. They recount a universal story on a single page.

What are your sacred texts? How did these connect you – to yourself, or to others (or both!)

Please feel free to explore this page where I list books related to the Third Culture experience – you might find something special there. And if you think a book needs adding to the list – do write and let me know. I’d love to include it.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Brian Stell

    Hi Rachel-
    It’s been a tough week 😢 Your Podcasts are sooooo soothing for me: you don’t even know how much….. I hope you appreciate what you do for us lost TDKs!

    God bless you and have a great day!

    Luv, Brian

    Reply
  2. Brian

    Sorry Rachel- I don’t read books much: my books are music and their poems (i.e. Moody Blues) .
    Moody Blues poems in the beginnings/middle songs tear my heart to the soul. I miss the lads that have passed, especially John Lodge the flute player who had a soul filled sound: his flute playing “For my Lady” still makes me and my Wife cry. So poignant!

    You’re right- it was strange to adapt to the time change for fall…

    Have a Wonderful day!

    Reply
    • Dr. Rachel Cason

      Interesting how music fulfills that role for you. For me music is a great emotion cue – helps me tap into different times and identities…

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More from my blog

Third Culture Kids and Adverse Childhood Experiences

Third Culture Kids and Adverse Childhood Experiences

I knew it’d be hard to read Tanya Crossman and Lauren Wells’ recent research. I was right. As much as I eagerly read the methodologies and results of their work, “Caution and Hope: The Prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences in Globally Mobile Third Culture Kids”, I could feel a heart clench of pain for the many TCKs I work with who know the pain of adverse childhood experiences all too well.

read more
Third Culture Kids and Repatriating Well

Third Culture Kids and Repatriating Well

A client shared with me recently how they had been looking for accounts of Third Culture Kids repatriating, and how little they had found to very little to inform them. This challenged me in more ways than one – first to consider why the narrative of TCK repatriation...

read more
The Third Culture Kid drive to “be good”

The Third Culture Kid drive to “be good”

I’m currently sat at my desk in a mild slumpy grumpy space. It’s because I’ve eaten too much sugar, and drunk too much coffee and now I feel I need a good long lie down. I want to hide from myself, because I’m cross that I over-indulged. However, given that I’m me, I’m feeling curious as well as grumpy – why did I do it? Why did I eat and drink more than was good for me? Now I’m getting all philosophical and asking the BIG question – why do we do what we don’t want to do, and why don’t we do what we want?

read more