Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It's not about the Book

Last night was Brodi’s book launch. King’s English. 7:00 p.m. Wow!
Yesterday I was not really sure exactly

how to launch a book. Just for the record, we decided not to spray the book with Coke Zero. Being a tribe of “Caf-fiends,” we feared we’d humiliate ourselves, like a pride of snarling lions over a fresh kill, by collectively licking the precious liquid off the pages in a calamitous display of demeaning, degrading Neanderthal anti-polite-society lust for the stimulant. Hey, that stuff is “Mother’s Milk” to the addicted.
No, instead we thought this particular event worthy of slightly elevated decorum. So we pounded down quarter-pound cookies in pairs and stuffed cake into every conceivable unoccupied facial orifice available, then tried to extract tell-tale chocolate chip remnants with our fingers. Nobody can accuse us of a lack of sophistication!
Eventually, Brodi rose to speak. It is a singular sensation as a parent to watch one’s offspring address a group of friends, family, and loved ones who gathered to celebrate her accomplishment.
There is a complex amalgam of emotion…anticipation, pride, excitement. As she was about to begin, there was a mechanics malfunction. The remote for the power-point presentation was not working.
For an anxious parent, the better part of valor is to sit, composed and patient, as she works through the glitch. Not an easy task when said mother is prompted by a primal instinct to protect one’s progeny by tearing off one’s clothes and running in concentric circles shrieking, “We’re all going to die!”
With astonishing grace, Brodi gave humorous audibles to Sam who manually advanced the slides and allowed her to continue her presentation.
I was not surprised. Brodi and Sam are problem-solvers. Just satisfied that random acts of chaos in the universe did not deter Brodi from her appointed remarks. I have always said it is all the unforeseen things that go wrong that make an occasion memorable. Such was the case last night. This was memorable. Nothing could sabotage this moment.
But perhaps the defining elements of this book launch were not entirely about the book. All those that gathered on her behalf were there not just to applaud, but to cheer. It seemed that dear ones came together to celebrate, to rejoice and to invest in one another.
We saw those in attendance embrace each other in reunions and reminiscence that were not just centered on the book.
It was about a spirit of spoken and unspoken exchanges of love and mutual admiration.
It was about seeing generations of family and friends participate in the sweet rituals that renew connections that time and distance do not diminish.
It was about a driving element centered on celebrating the things that make us the elect refined beings that perhaps was originally intended.
The book was the reason for this moment, but not exclusively the essence.
Brodi knew this best of all. With her humorous anecdote about “deletions,” she obliquely taught life lessons about what should be nurtured and maintained.
It was a privilege to be a member at an event that brought together a society of chosen, who reunited, reminisced and rejoiced.
So, to paraphrase Lance Armstrong, ultimately it is not about the book. Last night, it was about all of us.
And that’s how you launch a book.


Nikita said...

And what a lovely launch it was!

Kenton and Marianne Ogg said...

Reading this gave me happy goosebumps. =)

LeAnn said...

My dear Joan; I feel so sad that I missed the Book launch. I noticed this post too late. I had it down for the 26th. Anyway, I will get the book for sure and immerse myself in it. Love to you!