Thursday, April 24, 2014
Weekly Book Post: Notes from a Blue Bike
I was sitting on the beach in Indiana Dunes State Park, watching my kids play in the sand, when I finished Notes From a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World by Tsh Oxenreider.
It was both a perfect and a frustrating vacation read: perfect because as the author talked about traveling with her kids as part of her intentional life I could nod along and say, "yes, it's a wonderful bonding experience"; and frustrating because discussions of food choices and budgeting made me want to make intentional changes in our life in those areas, and we can't really do that in the midst of a road trip.
This memoir, by the author/editor of the community blog The Art of Simple, encourages us all to choose how our families will live, rather than be swept along by our culture. Oxenreider was inspired by her experience living in Turkey with her young children to seriously reflect on how we live in the U.S., and decide to carve a countercultural path for her family. The book is divided into sections based on the major life-issues the author has had to grapple with: food, work, education, travel. Their choices are very different from mine (for instance, they can't even keep a pet because it would interfere with traveling - I find traveling nerve-wracking and am torn over the carbon-footprint of air travel and I have 20 chickens and 6 goats, etc. back at my home place), but it makes me wonder about what my major areas of intentional living are.
The book reads like an extended blog post from the author's blog. If you are a fan of the blog, you might enjoy this extended version and the big picture frame it gives to Oxenreider's journey. If you are looking for something more in-depth or with practical how-to's, you will need to look elsewhere. Oxenreider doesn't try to give directions to others for their intentional lives - she acknowledges that everyone's choices will be different. Instead, this is a personal tale told with the hopes of inspiring others. I was inspired - you might be too!