18 February 2013

Brief Interlude: A Review of Beyond the Sky and the Earth, Jamie Zeppa

Beyond the Sky and the Earth, by Jamie Zeppa is not SF.  If you were to sit down and try to find 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon separation between SF and this book you would be 5000 steps apart.  I cannot even use my well-versed sarcasm to pretend this book into SF as it is a memoir of young women's adventure teaching in Bhutan.  So why include it?  To be frank I debated if I could.  Thank the Maker is clearly a platform for praising SF.  Beyond the Sky and the Earth is clearly not.  Here I am reading through this book that I have read countless times and still feel as I always do when I turn it's pages, contentment.

Feeling content is a powerful experience to receive from reading. Sure, maybe in your world this might be the reason you read, in mine not so much.  Novels of late have taken me on harried, emotional rides pushing me to turn pages faster, skim paragraphs for the gist all in the pursuit of the 5 Ws (don't forget how) quickly enough to (errr....) post about them.  (Hey, I'm a committed blogger.)  My reading resembles more a junky's need then a past-time.  Don't misinterpret me though, I have been loving these past months, having enjoyed some truly incredible books:  The Expanse Series, The Unincorporated Series, The Rook.  Is it necessary for me to type them out since you now have read all those books that I told you to, right.  Right?!

It is nice to just read, though.  Sit down with something familiar, and turn the pages at a more leisurely pace. Beyond the Sky and the Earth is my little break from Thank the Maker. It is my way to get out of my head, out of reading for reading.  This book is my personal memory journal.  No, I have never tripped over to Bhutan for an adventure, fell in-love with my student resulting in the birth of baby.  No, I have never meditated, emptying my mind of all thoughts while prayer flags whip in the wind.  But thanks to Jamie's honesty and writing prowess I feel like I have.       

I have grown up with this book.  Odd now that I think back to how long it has been with me.  Way back, before life here, I was a daughter, living in the prairies of Canada ready to get out and live.  And live I did.  My move to Japan shook up my world view, expanded my understanding of who I was and more importantly who I will always be no matter the location or the experience.  I take something new away each time I sit down with the memoir.  The copy I own is littered with scribbles, arrows pointing to poignant paragraphs that had at one point in my life, meaning.  This is truly a great travel memoir.  For all you reluctant SF readers, I give you Bhutan.  Hey, even Dune Girl needs a break from SF from time to time.