Read September 29, 2013

The Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein


I thought I had it all figured out.

"Everybody gets their happily ever after - cue the credits."

I've become SO cynical. How did that happen? Maybe it's all the dark, depressing books I read.

I had to pick myself up off the floor after finishing this one. I thought it was all about how persistence and determination get you what you want. About following your dreams and making them happen. HA! This book is about how to crash the car. How to fall apart. How to shatter into a million tiny pieces, and then build something new. Denny took all the pain and the anger and the desperation, took it over and over again, but he didn't spin his wheels - he just rolled off track and then walked away. Not unscathed, but ready to race another day.

This book is also about death. Dogs die. Human beings die. Relationships die. Aspirations die. But we can all be reborn.

I'm not sure about reincarnation. I'm too much of a control freak. I want to be in charge of my fate, even beyond the grave. I want to make sure my new self has the right values, is good to his or her family, does right in this world. But I can't do that, and that's one of the many reasons death still scares me. I've seen enough of it to know the dying process can be peaceful and pain-free and, under the right circumstances...joyful. But the fear is still ever-present.

I believe in dying with dignity. That's what Enzo did. He knew too much about what was around the next turn, so he waited until the pit crew and the medics had cleared the course, and then - and only then - did he round the bend onto the other side of the track. With the green light to go.