Tonight, four of my favorite women and I had book club to discuss "Cutting for Stone." Calling it book club is a misnomer because only one person actually read the book. We've been having book club for several years and we typically only talk about the book for fifteen or twenty minutes before moving on to the happenings in our lives. As an author, I wish book club involved more discussion about the themes and underlying issues in our selections. I flinch at the thought that all of the heart and effort involved in writing a book and getting it published is reduced to a quick discussion that doesn't contemplate all that the author bleeds into her work. As an offender who hadn't read this month's selection, I had nothing to contribute anyway so I cannot complain. In the past, we've had discussions spin off that lasted hours. Two selections ago, we sat at the host's house and discussed the book, the time period it involved, and moved on to larger topics like health care, entitlement programs, and helping the less fortunate. The discussion was spirited and deep. Challenging and thought-provoking.
Tonight, as we sat, the discussion was calm and focused on learning about the recent updates in one another's lives. Without the debate and dissection of current events and issues. And this was so okay. Yes, I love these women for the layers they add to my life. The challenges they confront me with in forcing me to confront my own long-held beliefs. The ever-so-slight shifting of my perspective as I listen to and absorb theirs. But, like tonight, it is equally enjoyable to simply sit and be with them. To feel their love and support without needing it voiced. To know that in this circle of strong sister-friends, I can forgo pretense and be myself. Whether that be my dorky self. My sad self. My silly self. My sarcastic self. I can just be. And that is the type of acceptance and friendship we all long for. I am blessed.