Monday, May 11, 2015

The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People HelpThe Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I should be too old, too jaded, too well-read, and too involved to get sucked into book that MAKES ME WANT TO BE A BETTER PERSON.

But...
well...
It happened anyway.

So before I get into the review, I just want to thank the writer for her openness and honesty. I want to thank her for revealing such heartbreaking intimacy to us. I was already a fan, but I wasn't part of the fen. That has changed. I saw something that spoke to me and revealed a level of courage that was more compelling than practically anything I've ever seen, heard, or experienced.

The key concept here is being courageous in telling the truth, regardless of the consequences. Secondarily, it's about asking for help and being able to receive it, but just because I've put this as second doesn't necessarily make it less important. It just means that its message might have been lost if it wasn't for that moment where the pages bled and my fingers smeared Amanda's blood all over my furniture and on my shirt and in my eyes as I unsuccessfully tried to wipe away my tears.

On to the review.

The message eventually ramped up to revolve around the revolution of Kickstarter, and I assume it was also the impetus that made the publishers want her story. Little did they know they'd be getting something so very human and encouraging, showing the rest of us introverts and artistic types that we aren't wrong in wishing for a world of connection on our own terms, that being dissatisfied with accepted modes of living isn't a sign that we'll never be able to be true to ourselves.

We are not meant to be lost and unable to cope with our lives. We are meant to find our real kin and be a part of their lives, as they will be a part of ours. The only way that is possible is by opening ourselves up and being truly able to receive the help when it comes. I know it sounds cliche, perhaps vaguely mystical, but in this book, it's absolutely emotional and breathtaking and visceral.

I want to be seen. I want to be in love with every human connection I make. I see you.

So simple, so persuasive.

And ultimately, it is the most personally rewarding book I've read in a long time that doesn't set its feet in the airy world. I feel as if I had a long and wonderful conversation with a true friend.

Fuck the review. I'm just going to say, again, "Thank you, Amanda."

If you ever read this, assume I'm giving you a hug.



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