Saturday, June 17, 2006

Jaws & Job

I ended up swapping out of fiction for some autobiography with Bethany Hamilton's book "Soul Surfer". I remember the initial news reports about the young surfer who lost her arm to a shark attack, but learned a lot more about that event and about her life during the past 90 minutes. I had not realized that the attack took place off of a beach in northern Kauai in the Hawaiian islands -- a spot where I spent one of the most idyllic vacations in the history of the world -- and her descriptions of the beauty of the island and the laid-back kindness of its inhabitants brought back many memories. I did admire her calm determination and courage, as well as her unshakable faith in God in the face of such a serious accident. It did bother me that there were so many references to the surf gear company that sponsors her - though it's great that they didn't drop her after the attack, it did seem like a long string of prominent product placements in the narrative. It will be interesting to see what path this young woman takes in life - at 14, she was just beginning to carve out a path (or a wave) for her future and is now sifting the options to see what's next. She certainly has the guts and compassion to succeed.

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