Ethan Hawke’s A Bright Ray of Darkness

The sky will not stop sobbing. When Zeus thunders, my dog Charlie follows suit, bursting into aggressive high pitched barks.

Candles are lit and soft jazzy tunes play in the background. I am giving it all I have got to remain happy and optimistic on day 4 of unabated downpour after downpour after downpour. Gloom is beginning to penetrate and debilitate. I must tackle it!

So… I am thinking a bright red balloon, a box of doughnuts with beautiful pink icing and sprinkles, a coffee table book of gorgeous interiors, the scent of bread baking… all those feel good contrivances that will trigger the happy chip, the cozy chip, the I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but here chip.

A little while later with the bread machine doing its thing and a tray of freshly baked almond and chocolate biscotti waiting for me and my coffee, I head to my favourite comfy perch in the house with a newly gifted read to crack open and disappear into for a few hours of respite.

My book is Ethan Hawke’s A Bright Ray of Darkness. Within its pages I relocate to New York, inhabit the backstages of theaters, and meet a varied and layered set of characters. Relationships of every sort are frankly and honestly picked apart and analyzed in this book (marriage, friendship, familial, business, sexual).

What makes it such an engrossing and true read is the author’s deep introspection and observant eye. He artfully illustrates how the truth, in reality, can at times be both heartbreaking and hilarious, casual and meaningful due to the fact that so too are people an ensemble of juxtaposed, characteristics, beliefs and experiences.

The dialogues between the protagonist and his kids, friends, fellow actors etc… are intelligent and eye opening. Forget about finding any clichés or stereotypes here.

I didn’t want to leave New York or the theater district or all the people I had met but was, of course, also in need of a satisfying end as I approached the last pages of this terrific story.

While standing backstage amidst the costumes and nervous mayhem of the actors, or walking the streets in search of clarity, I was able to leave the doom and gloom of my actual surroundings

A quick gaze outside my living room window brought me back to reality confirming it was still raining as I closed A Bright Ray of Darkness. Those few hours of mental diversion had done the trick though, and put me in a much better mood. Reading truly is escapism at its finest!

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