By: Shauna Niequist
Zondervan (July 28, 2010)
Bittersweet is a fantastic follow-up to Cold Tangerines. Through one personal story after the other, Niequist explores both the bitter and the sweet that this life offers. It turns out it is nearly impossible to have one without the other. Her stories of love, joy, loss, and pain make me want to live a better, fuller, life.
Two of my favorite quotes:
I don’t know where you are these days, what’s broken down and what’s beautiful in your life this season. I don’t know if this is a season of sweetness or one of sadness. But I’m learning that neither last forever. There will, I’m sure, be something that invades this current loveliness. That’s how life is. It won’t be sweet forever. But it won’t be bitter forever either. If everywhere you look these days, it’s wintery, desolate, lonely, practice believing in springtime. It always, always comes, even though on days like today it’s nearly impossible to imagine, ground frozen, trees bare and spiky. New life will spring from this same ground. This season will end, and something entirely new will follow it.
That’s why I write, because sometimes, every once in a while, I feel entirely at home in the universe, a welcome and wonderful feeling. I could cry at that feeling, because it happens so rarely. Doing the hard work of writing makes me feel like I’m paying my rent on a cosmic level, doing the thing that I can do to make the world a little better decorated. Writing wakes me up, lights me on fire, opens my eyes to the things I can never see and feel when I’m hiding under the covers, cowering and consumed with my own failures and fears.