Friday, November 20, 2009
A friend at work suggested that I read the book "The Horse Boy." It is the story of a family who is dealing with their son's autism as well as they can. In the midst of the confusion and uncertainty the father realizes that his son has an emotional connection with horses. Since he also has a personal connection with shamans the father decides to find a place where horses and shamans come together. The place he finds the two combined is Mongolia. He convinces his wife to travel to the ends of the earth in an attempt to "heal" their son. They leave their home in Texas, travel to England and end up in Mongolia. Their journey has them traveling by plane, van and horse.
This book tells a truly unique story; not many people look to Mongolia for the treatment of anything! Love, open mindedness and determination are key principles that shine through in this story of struggle and acceptance.
Oh...and there is a documentary of the same name depicting the experience.
My Social Work class was assigned the book, "The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls. This book is strangely engrossing. It describes Jeannette's strange and nomadic childhood with her paranoid, alcoholic father and her bipolar (my guess) mother. Throughout her childhood her family faces poverty, hunger, inadequate clothing, heat and sanitation. Her parents both struggle to stay employed. Her father is frequently drunk and even when he is not he is contemptible and argumentative. Her mother is a bit of a free spirit who lacks the discipline to arrive on time, stick to lesson plans and sometimes to even go to school. Her parents were successful at engaging the imaginations and curiosity of their children. The children were all very intelligent, often too intelligent for their teacher's liking. The beginning of the book tells the story of an evening ruined. Jeannette is on her way to a party in Manhattan when she sees her mother digging through dumpsters. Jeannette returns to her expensive apartment and ponders how her mother was brought so low. I was compelled to get to the end of this book, despite my repulsion to her parents' indifference, to satisfy my curiosity.
If anyone wants to borrow either book just ask. The Glass Castle is currently on loan, but I would be happy to loan it out again as soon as it comes back.