That Aha Connection

reading in bed

Sometimes I have these surreal interruptions – “Aha” moments, if you will.

Like a group of determined children, they tap my shoulder, tug at my clothes, or even grab my face to win my erratic attention.

Hey, lady! STOP.

So, I do…and it changes me.

Those running in my social media circle heard about the recent death of my Kindle. She was a trusty companion – knowledgeable, entertaining, and just an overall good soul. Until Hazel the cat rubbed her out, knocking her off the highest ledge in our apartment.

Alas, the Kindle was no more.

Being that I don’t possess the financial superpowers to replace my beloved Kindle currently, I took a field trip to the library. My first time in over a year. (Free books….yay!)

Blogger gal pal Gabriela Blandy at The Sense of a Journey, pointed me in the direction of Raymond Carver, spartan wordsmith extraordinaire.

Always the literature mutt, I decided to give him a whirl.

Whilst pouring over “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love“, I came to a dog-eared page from somebody who had checked out the book before me.

And, I stopped.

Another person had left their mark, a folded corner for me to find. Why did they stop reading just then?

Did they set their alarm, turn off the light, and go to bed? Did they sigh and head into the kitchen to wash the dishes? Did they stuff the book in their bag and board a plane?

From that point…we were connected. The dog-ear was my “Aha”.

Just like the time my change was shoved into my hand at a drive-thru. At a stoplight, I looked down at my palm and noticed Washington’s smirk was littered with poetry in red ink.


Just like the time I had this indescribable urge to name one of my characters Sal. Months later I looked down at the right corner of my desk and noticed this carving was there the whole time…

i luv sal carving
I luv Sal


We zip through our lives half the time, don’t we? Eat, sleep, work, play. Repeat.

But when it all comes down to it, we are connected in so many ways. And, it’s absolutely magnificent when we stop and breathe it in.

We live side by side – none of us are really that different. Sometimes we need the “Aha” to make us pause, to see how damn incredible this thing called life is.

20 thoughts on “That Aha Connection

  1. It’s a great book, btw. There is also an interesting article in the New Yorker a few years ago that looks at the way Carver was ferociously, and controversially, edited by his editor (whose name escapes me right now). For a writer interested in craft, it’s a good read. But read the stories first!

    1. Crazy, right?! I’m not even sure how old this desk is…hopefully Sal’s still thriving.

      Just checked out that blog…that is so wild!

      One more week until the big trip, so I’ll still be skulking around the web scene. Hope you’re having a fine week, Roy. : )

  2. Just think of all the aha moments that slip by unnoticed because we’re stuck in our smartphones or a mental to-do list. I feel I probably get more aha moments than the average bear, but that’s because they keep moving on down the conveyor belt and no one nabs them.

    I don’t feel a bit guilty, though.


    1. Absolutely! Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in those smartphones and to-do lists…I’m sure I’m not alone. But, I do my best to recognize and stop to smell the roses.

      Glad those aha moments happen for you! An awesome mind is one that liberates itself with the pause.

  3. Love this, Britt – and not just because it makes me feel famous!! But yes, for me that’s what’s great about buying a second hand book. I love it when you find the things people use as markers – receipts for interesting objects – and when someone else has scribbled something in the margin, or the book was dedicated to someone and you wonder: did the relationship end; why did they part with this?

    1. You are totally famous! Hope you got a little traffic out of the Blandy link.

      I have always loved buying used books for that reason alone. New books just aren’t the same. That must be why I spill food and always get them wet somehow…so they get that ratty, well-loved feel. : )

  4. What a magical, fantastic post, Britt. I love those moments of awareness, as if the world stops for a moment and everything just seems to fit and make sense for a second, reminding us that we are all connected.

    (The desk is so great!)

    1. Thanks, sweet love. I love those moments so much…and the word does seem to stop. It’s bizarrely beautiful.

      I’ve gotta say the desk carving tripped me out. Even as I’m reading through my second draft, I’m stunned every time Sal comes onto the scene.

  5. What a wonderful post – I particularly love the direction my mind is now going in with the back story of the person who turned down the page in the book – I’ve also got Carver on my list now after reading Gabriela’s post!

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