Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Road Trips to Wonderland

Today in the Daily Office we started reading Colossians. Every time I read Colossians I think of the road trip my friends and I took to Oregon during my senior year of college. It was during this trip that I fell in love with the book. From then on I've counted it as one of my favorite books of the Bible, along with Romans, John and Isaiah.

That trip also reminds me of two other books. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, and Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller. I read more books than that on the trip, but that is what I remember reading.

Most of the group on that trip had just read, were in the middle of reading, or started reading Blue Like Jazz on the trip. It was perfect timing, as we were headed up to where Don lived. We even visited the famed Powell's Bookstore that he mentioned. It was perfect. Reading books that tie in with where you are visiting is the best way to do it, in my opinion. Sir Walter Scott in Edinburgh. Charlotte Bronte in Haworth. Miller in Portland.

So now I'm reading Donald's new book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years at the same time that I'm reading Colossians again. In a sense it's like both books were chosen for me at this time. A Million Miles because I just heard Donald speak on it last week, and Colossians because the Episcopal church said that's what I should read right now. It's one of those things that seems lined up, providential. Actually, it seems cyclical.

There are things in my life that seem to keep showing up, reminding me of who I am and who I was. Of course there are the negative things that I wish didn't come up - those insecurities that I thought I got over years ago that come back at times when I least expect them. But I'm thinking more of those things that are more nostalgic in nature. Like a beautiful, although sometimes seemingly random, theme in a movie that keeps showing up.

Take Alice in Wonderland for example. The new Tim Burton version starring Johnny Depp came out recently. I love anything those two do together, so of course I went to see it, and I started remembering all the different ways the story of Alice in Wonderland had shown up in my life over the years. There's the Disney version of the movie, which is not my favorite (although I do like the ride at Disneyland). But then there's the live action version that I watched on TV as a child. The book by Lewis Carol that I adored, especially the second half, Through the Looking Glass. The Alice in Wonderland game for our CD-i, a learning and gaming technology that my family bought that never quite caught on. There's the visit to Alice's Shop in Oxford where my parents bought me the "Drink This" mug. Also the new book series The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor that I've been reading. All of these things came up in my mind as I watched Tim Burton's version of Wonderland. It's like I was being re-introduced to that part of me that loves Alice in Wonderland. It's kind of like those people that you are friends with on Facebook. You know them, but you forget about them until they post a status update on Facebook on something you have in common with them.

I'm not really sure what all these reminders come to, but they seem somehow meaningful, like no matter where I live, or how much it seems like I grow and change, it's still me hanging around.

What are some of those things that you find recurring in your life? Any thoughts on what it means?


  1. I always enjoy reading what you write - and not just because I'm your mom!

  2. Cora, apparently I live in the same neighborhood as Donald Miller! I've got to mention how awesome you are if I ever see him ;)

  3. Katie, please do! Ha ha. I'm thinking about starting an additional blog about my quest to have coffee with Don. A good word from you could help the cause. You should be able to spot him driving around - his car has his face on it http://twitpic.com/19eo3k.