Cheryl Strayed is certainly one of our favorites. We both loved Wild and her podcast that she co-hosts with Steve Almond, Dear Sugar.
Wild holds a particularly special place in my heart. I was reading the book on the very night that my dad was shot and killed and it became an important part of the beginning of my journey into healing.
Cheryl was appearing in Pasadena on a school night! This means Ed & I are usually in bed by 8:00, but we fought traffic after work, drank some caffeine and headed over to the venue. We received copies of her new book of quotes Brave Enough and excitedly sat down to hear her speak.
Cheryl was incredible. She has such an amazing way with words, without being pretentious. She is authentically relatable and honest.
Cheryl started off by asking the audience if anyone had a tattoo of one of her quotes and there was someone there who in fact, did. She discussed the new book of quotes and the purpose behind publishing it. She clarified that she did not do this because she feels like she has a vast amount of wisdom that must be shared, but because each of these quotes had a story behind it for her and she was starting to realize that her quotes had stories for other people. She had been getting many emails and pictures of people’s tattoos, stories and memories of what her quotes had meant to them and was realizing that they had taken on different meanings to different people.
Cheryl lectured for a very short time and devoted the rest of the time to questions and answers. She answered a very wide range of questions varying from grief, advice, writing, movie making, overall-wearing and my personal favorite, sharing her favorite word (a tie between love and fuck).
After the lecture, we were able to get our books signed and meet Cheryl. She was so incredibly gracious and listened to me pour my heart out over how important Wild was in my grief process.
She signed Ed’s favorite quote in the book and spent a minute or two talking with us and thanking us for coming.
We certainly did not regret staying out late on a school night. It was a wonderful experience to meet Cheryl and hear her discuss so eloquently, a wide range of topics.
Hiiii, it’s Ed,
When Angelina mentioned that Cheryl Strayed’s book tour was headed to Pasadena I knew I had to go. I’d been on a Cheryl obsession ever since last year; eating up all the information I could find on her. I loved that her spiritual journey was unconventional and it resulted in finding the love of her life.
If Cheryl went on a journey through the Pacific Coast Trail – then I had to go on a journey through the Pacific Coast Trail.
When I opened Cheryl’s new book, I found the perfect quote that describes “god” for me:
I understand Cheryl’s point of view when it comes to the ultimate creator of the universe. She was raised in an abusive home where she witnessed the physical abuse of her father. Afterward her mother passed away from a terrible bout of cancer. I was raised in a home where every desire of one’s heart could be answered through prayer – instead of hard work.
When I look at the human experience as a whole, sometimes I ask the Lord, “couldn’t you have made it easier for us here?” God is a creator of wonderful experiences but at the same time, it can be a ruthless bitch!