Celeste Honey, Photography Intern
Celeste started this summer reading The Unwinding of the Miracle and is already changing her perspective on how to navigate life. See what Celeste has to say about this book and her experience as a summer reader!
Why did you pick this book? Why would you recommend it to others?
I just started reading it earlier this month and it’s a very touching story about the author reflecting on her traumatic childhood and her life in general while dealing with her terminal colon cancer diagnosis. I recommend it because it is very powerful and makes you realize that life isn’t fair to anyone, but you have to enjoy it too. You can’t just let your bad experiences hold you down forever, you have to push to find the light in life, not just settle for dark.
What is your favorite quote from this book? Why?
“Walk through the fire and you will emerge on the other end, whole and stronger. I promise. You will ultimately find truth and beauty and wisdom and peace. You will understand that nothing lasts forever, not pain, or joy. You will understand that joy cannot exist without sadness. Relief cannot exist without pain. Compassion cannot exist without cruelty. Courage cannot exist without fear. Hope cannot exist without despair. Wisdom cannot exist without suffering. Gratitude cannot exist without deprivation. Paradoxes about in this life. Living is an exercise in navigating within them.”
It just hits me hard since it’s true! You can’t live without pain so why waste your time constantly trying to avoid it. You have to accept that suffering is just life, you are allowed to go through it and feel unpleasant, but you can’t just keep making your life revolve around the possibility that everything can go bad. It just changed my mindset for the rest of my life and really made me want to change how I go through life.
What is your favorite memory of summer reading growing up – do you have an anecdote to share?
I was a huge procrastinator as a kid so I would always make sure that I “forgot” to read my summer reading book and read it 2-3 days before school started. When I got older, I accepted that the summer reading will probably be the first essay or homework given to me so I might as well read it and take notes so that I can start off the year with a good grade to help my average.
What was your favorite summer reading book as a child?
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. It’s such an amazing book and so touching.
What does literacy mean to you – why is it important?
Literacy is important since it unlocks barriers for you. The power to read helps you learn about others and help you understand what other people go through. That understanding of each other helps break stereotypes and negative judgments – it opens the world to you and helps you embrace who you are and what you can be.