See, I just finished reading Andrew's new book, Stick, and I cried because it was real and beautiful and true. I hadn't cried over a book in that way since I read Sara's Story of a Girl.
And the thing is, I cried because these books possess a grace. Because I said Yes. I said Yes to these questions:
Does this book make me a better person?
Does this book make me a better writer?
Does this book make me a better teacher?
Is my soul bigger because of this book?
Because when I say Yes it's like this:
Sparks fly from my fingertips and stars shoot from my eyes.
You are lying on your back, looking at a black black sky. Then stars start to appear, and it's like you are hearing Ode to Joy for the first time. You are a swirl of color in a Chagall painting, you are the light that comes in Vermeer's window, you are Van Gogh's stars. You are a shine and a glory endowed by the blessing in that book.
And saying Yes to these questions also means that you are lined up against the wall in a Goya painting, you are Saturn's child being devoured.
And if you listen, the blessings are all the sweeter and pierce more.
So I let myself hum and glow and store up how this feels, because when the dark comes and despair beckons, commands, I can close my eyes and say, I know your name. You have no power over me. Begone.
So if you have a nimbus and people freak out about it, share it. Hand them a book. There are a lot of nimbus-granting writers out there: Sara and Andrew. Ellen Hopkins and Laurie Halse Anderson. Matt de la Pena and Patrick Ness. There are many and more.
Find them. Read their books.
And when you get to your Yes, if you are so moved, thank them.
And pass the nimbus.