Della is a scientist who lives with her brother and his pregnant wife after graduating from school and having somewhat of a mental breakdown. She has an obsession with fire, as well as with people setting themselves on fire. Through her job at a local restaurant, through her brother’s connections, and through her parents, Della is surrounded by people who are hippie-radical types, and is focused on changing the world in some way, by using extreme measures.
When the places she calls in bomb threats to actually start being bombed, Della knows she needs to figure out the connection.
Della is depressed and lost, which is how many of us feel when we hear about another horrible bombing, shooting, or other situation of unjust occurring. Zazen by Vanessa Veselka is an intricate read with great writing that made me feel connected to Della even though she is so incredibly different from who I am.
When reading Zazen, I connected it with the Ann Curry’s new movement called 26 Acts of Kindness. From the Facebook page:
“Newtown’s heartbreak has a lot of us asking, “What can I do?” Thinking about this, Ann Curry took to social media and asked people to imagine what would happen if all of us committed to 26 acts of kindness to honor each life lost in Newtown.”
I had been thinking about joining and starting my own 26 acts, but when reading Zazen, I found an immediate connection. Della’s in a complete mess based on what has happened in her life and what is currently going on, all because of a tragic event that set her on this path. While that’s not the way I would think to correct the world, there are things I can do to make it a better place and honor the memories of a recent tragedy.
You can actually read Zazen online at the publisher’s website here. That’s how I read this novel, and I flew through it. Also, if you want some more information about the book, check out Heather @ Between the Covers for her review, which is what caused me to read this novel.
Have you thought about joining Ann Curry with her 26 Acts of Kindness?