Friday, April 8, 2016

Book Review: Pieces Like Pottery by Dan Buri

by M. J. Joachim


It started with a very uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach. Pieces Like Pottery was downright disturbing and would surely be impossible to read, especially if it kept making me so sad and contemplative of life and the circumstances and situations that often present themselves. I put it down for a couple of months, opting to read other books in my library, knowing it was only a matter of time when this book would be safe and okay to read. It’s one of those, the type of book that will unravel the darkness in one’s soul, relatable only to those open to each individual message it dares to provide.

I’ve never lost a child, but I know loss, so when I read that one story, I completely understood the magnitude of its impact on me. Nor have I ever been gay or discriminated against for how I look, yet once again Buri challenged me to feel beyond my comfort zone and open my eyes to a different perception. Abused altar boy I was not, nor falsely accused for hurting a child, yet there I stood in my nakedness recognizing the necessity of the words being read upon the page, words that reflected realities and truths about humanity, its kindness and its cruelty, its strength and its frailty - these are things I’m all too familiar with, and when I dared delve into Pieces Like Pottery, with an openness of mind I knew I needed, I discovered things, and learned how to tap into my fragile humanness again.

No tears came to my eyes as I flipped through the pages, opting to recognize my own blindness toward real human suffering, and my own need to heal from wounds that should no longer be allowed to weigh me down. Pieces Like Pottery is a contemplative, thought provoking book of short stories and poems, the type of book that will touch your heart, but only if you let it. It’s a book one needs to prepare themselves to read, and be ready for its impact. Without that, you might hate it, and that my friends would truly be a shame.

Best of the weekend to you, and happy reading!

M. J.

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