Thursday, September 8

Taking the repeats

It's an infrequently acknowledged fact that depressed people are super annoying, and I say this with authority, having gotten on my own nerves when I was one. It's also true that depression, like any brain-centered mood or appetite malfunction, ultimately betroths its host to a lifetime of Symptom Management. I think these things are what Dominique Browning's Slow Love recounts.

For the first half of this memoir, Dominique didn't win me over. She had been a big-time magazine editor, which interested me, but it turns out that a highly successful (if cut short) career doesn't necessarily indicate a well-adjusted personality behind the wheel. Over and over I told her (book) to get a grip, which is what I ineffectually told myself back in the thick of it.

Happily, as Browning slowly ascended from the mire, her book became lovelier. One of the first passages I marked was on page 138, about "taking the repeats"—a musical direction meaning the musician should go back to the start and play the phrase again—which Browning adapted simply and meaningfully to her whole life.

Life is full of necessary repeats, Browning convinced me. Do-overs can be wonderful gifts, opportunities to start again only with a better idea of what to expect, what to relish and disregard. At the least, taking the repeats is nothing to be ashamed of.

There's a lot more to discuss when it comes to this book, and there's a lot of discussion happening about it on BlogHer's Book Club page. Check it out!

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