Finding Flannery - The Art of Trying Twice

Dear Henry,

Recently, I received the opportunity to try something again. It is an experience I highly recommend.

Years ago - late high school perhaps - I tried to read Flannery O'Connor and didn't like her stories.

But a lot has happened in my life since high school and because I am such a different person, I have made it a point to return to and re-read the "hated" list from my high school years.  (And I really don't think a high school setting is conducive to reading Les Miserables or Atlas Shrugged, they take too long to digest)

While I don't remember why I didn't like her, I do remember why I didn't want to revisit her.  In the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed, Flannery O'Connor was held up as a "sophisticated" read.

I don't want to be sophisticated, particularly if it is the snooty type of literary sophistication that irritates everyone.

Recently though Flannery O'Connor came up again and it was her struggle with Lupus that got my attention. Particularly, it was her quote "I can, with one eye squinted, take it all as a blessing."

I can, very much, relate to that quote. Then I read Everything That Rises Must Converge and now, I am looking for a copy of her complete works to own and love.

It is amazing how much you can rediscover when you allow yourself to try again, although I still hate swiss chard and will not be eating that again, thank you very much.

I just hope I don't become sophisticated now.

xoxo a.d.


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