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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Gifted Painter Rusty Walker Reads Save Send Delete

Rusty Walker is an amazingly gifted painter and my Facebook friend. I'm so touched that he had himself photographed while reading Save Send Delete. On the stool in front of him, you can see the books he had to put on hold while reading SSD.

Here's Rusty's review of "Save Send Delete" 

Dr. Danusha V. Goska is a deeply insightful, extremely intelligent writer. Dr. Goska, through her upbringing, life-experiences, and travels is a proven survivor. She can be as complex, wild and adventurous as the folklore in which she earned a doctorate.

There is in Dr. Goska a no-BS-allowed interior and a gritty exterior (her travels include sleeping on ice cold gravel), and yet Danusha remains feminine and appreciative of real men in her life. Her debating Atheist, Rand, appears at times to fit this alpha male, and provides so formidable a challenge that he elevates her writing to a higher plane. She keeps her word in not disclosing who this real celebrity is, and we do not see or miss his responses. Her clever writing allows us complete understanding of what he wrote.

Books that change our life are often those books that move us by showing us a way to confront that which we most fear- dread of impending doom, death, danger, and devastating loss. This is the stuff of philosophers and pastors. Danusha, as "Mira," has given us a way of thinking about the unthinkable. This book is not simply written for the religious or non-religious. "Save, Send, Delete" is an exquisitely written treatise on confronting real life, by living it- through questions of faith and illuminating stories.

This is a book for anyone who dares to look inside themselves and confront their own darkest thoughts, motives, morality and questions during our deepest despair and still find that "rock" on which to survive. Danusha, as "Mira" communicates through e-mails to a world-renowned Scientist/Atheist who makes a living not just debating the existence of God, but, "skewing people of faith."

That "Mira" has to navigate through thugs and perverts just to walk to her college where she teaches as an adjunct, we might find alarming, until we are acquainted with her Peace Corps work, having hitch-hiked and scaled mountain terrain from Africa to Nepal, and beyond.

Through her uncanny storytelling abilities of real events and scenic descriptions that place you there, we follow her world adventures from the blue stained glass windows of Chartres to the upper reaches of the world of Nepal; Should I mention the Monk that tried to rape her? She "basically beat him up!"

Here is Mira, teaching around untouchables, tribal children playing near plateaus, with mile deep drop-offs on three sides; the lush jungle, the torrential downpours and rush of river waterfalls, to baby-killing jackals; suddenly we are catapulted into the contrast of gloomy faces of the privileged fortunate of the city. Why? Her too-young-to-die brother had in fact died, bringing her back to civilization, and reconciling the absurdity of the two worlds, as would a young Camus. Then back in Nepal, a barefoot, environmentally endangered child smiles and gives her a marble, later to emerge as synchronistic affirmation.

The ever-present Atheist Rand we find reading at a moment of despair, passages from Jung, confronts what should be a game-changer through a synchronistic, outer-worldly occurrence that appears with the arrival of a precision coincidence: a 'Mira" e-mail that simply cannot be explained away by his dialectical materialism rhetoric. Even the scientist, Rand with his mathematical answers grapples with Mira's claims that even the greats in science arrive at conclusions when at the limit of calculation, are forced to rely on creativity: leaps of faith.

There is a chemistry that builds between the Atheist "Rand" and the college teacher, Catholic "Mira." The heat rises and so does the language. This is not an unexperienced women in life or love, lust, nor in handling the licentious Rand, who has a propensity to abruptly change the subject to sex if losing the argument. She can handle it, in Africa with the Peace Corps parasites come with the territory.

"Mira," is first and foremost, a world-class writer and thinker. To me, she has the mind of the Catholic intellectuals: the Jesuits. A purist, a Catholic, so powerful in her faith that can admit, "I'm not sure if I love God." Would the narrative, "Jesus come down here and I will crucify you again," make sense if you existed as she did for six (6) years, with so dreaded an unknown illness that you were rendered immobilized, as she was, in a fetal position, blinded, crippled and vomiting for days, weeks, sometimes months without warning, or available treatment?

Should I mention that during this time she was attempting to complete her doctoral studies!? Having been turned down by Social Security Disability to social services agencies, Governors to Senators, and outreach to rich celebrities from Oprah to Chopra, finally losing all her friends, nonetheless we find, her faith not shaken- it made her "kinder." How was she was healed? You will need to read the book to find out.

One of her answers to Rand, included that devastating time of illness, when, voices took "Mira" to a bookstore, where she blurred her eyes so as to open randomly to passages from an unfamiliar Bible; Psalms appeared that completely related to her condition so that she no longer felt alone! There is synchronicity in lives, hers appear saintly. It is possible, as you read her stories, to wonder if the hands on her shoulders were angels.

Twists and turns will captivate you towards the end. There is surprise, shock, and disbelief in the ending chapters. As Danusha accomplished in her other important book, "Bieganski: The Brute Polak Stereotype, Its Role in Polish-Jewish Relations and American Popular Culture," she once again shows us she is the consummate storyteller and thinker, ending "Save, Send, Delete" with a clear resolve- one that allows you to walk away uplifted, and say, "Wow, I needed to read this book."

Dr. Edward "Rusty" Walker- Collins College, Provost, retired.

Read Rusty's review on Amazon here 
You can see more of Rusty's artwork at his website, here.

Roses, Coffee, and Antique Books by Rusty Walker

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