photo credit: Ian Cron
Ian is back at it–he just released his second book Jesus, My Father, The CIA and Me: A Memoir of Sorts. Again, click the title to get yourself a copy.
I had the privilege of spending a half hour with Ian and his wife Anne baking in a parking lot one block off a street festival in Delray Beach a few weeks ago. Having known and loved these guys since I was in diapers, I always try to take the opportunity to see them when I can–even if it finds us in unexpected places. At the end of our incredibly illuminating conversation, Ian offered me a pre-release copy of the Memoir. It is such an honor that he would do this, and it’s a treat to recommend it to you.
Though he states outright that some of his stories may be slightly less than accurate, I found myself defending my own memories of childhood–my only argument for relativism is found in my own personal ‘take’ on what happened, when and how, and how my experiences shaped me as a person. Some of my closest friends and family claim that I have a flair for the over-dramatic, but hey, this is how I remember what happened–who are you to tell me how I perceived it all?
That said, Ian’s Memoir is less a chronology of his journey and more like wading in a reflection pool. His writing truly transports. I felt like I was there when he lit the pile of powder he emptied from the road flares for all the neigborhood boys’ amusement; when he hid beneath the altar at 5AM in the church because he was awakened too early; when he tackled his drunk father in the easy chair; when he blew his VW Bug motor and jumped out before it stopped on the way to a Steve Miller Band show; and when his 8 year old son taught him and other grown men how to be courageous.
Ian’s counselor Dan captures the tremendous implicit value of this book on page 200:
“I spoke for two hours. ‘Sorry for rambling,’ I said. Dan uncrossed his legs. ‘I want to sit quietly for a moment to honor the story you’ve just told. It was sacred,’ he said, taking a deep breath and closing his eyes.”
Ian’s book reaffirms to us that our stories are sacred. That is to say that our lives are sacred. Regardless of the path, pleasant or horrifying, we each have a catalog of stories, unique and sacred. We add immeasurable richness to each other’s lives by retelling our stories. And Ian is a master storyteller.
Get this book and read it tonight. Fight the urge to find some deep theological meaning in all of it (it’s definitely there) and just enjoy listening to good stories.
Perhaps I’ve been reading a lot of books lately filled with statistics and case studies, but I found this book to be incredibly refreshing and energizing. It’s full of hope and everything that tries to stand in the way of hope. Just like my story. Just like your story.
Thanks, Ian! Can’t wait for the next one!