Posted in Book Review

The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

Read Dates: April 12, 2019 – April 16, 2019
Publication date: October 3, 2017
Source: Owned copy

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this is the recipe of life
said my mother
as she held me in her arms as i wept
think of those flowers you plant
in the gardens each year
they will teach you
that people too
must wilt
fall
root
rise
in order to bloom

Another wonderfully crafted book of poetry by Rapi Kaur. A lot of people say they liked the first better in terms of content and illustrations but I’m having a hard time choosing between the two.
Much like the first, this was split up into sections. Whereas Milk and Honey had four, this one has five:
Wilting, Falling, Rooting, Rising, and Blooming.

Also much like the first book, we start off with a hard hitting, no mercy account of toxic relationships, break-ups, and wanting to be like someone else. Wilting is a collection of accounts in which the author feels she should alter herself to be like the girl he left her for. She’s unhappy in her own body. She goes as far as to call herself “ugly”. She takes us through grief and self abandonment.

Falling takes us to the place we find ourselves after going through hardships. That time when we have finally hardened ourselves to the outside world. We’ve put up a wall that we don’t let others breach. A point of depression is reached where we can’t find it in ourselves to rise. She also mentions something SO important in this section. She mentions children who are taught to obey. Children who are not taught the word “no”. Children who grow into adults who still find it impossible to say the word “no” and, in turn, end up letting others hurt them. This is the section of the book and of our lives when we become detached and numb.

Rooting was such a beautiful section. The author talks of her culture and the struggles of immigration. The struggles of immigrant families who are escaping one horror for another so that their children can have better lives, more choices, happier memories… She talks of adapting to this new home and how the thick accent her mother carries is so beautiful to her because it reminds her where she came from, where her mother came from, and the things her family endured. She speaks of borders and the people who set them. Which made for one of my favorite passages in this book:

borders
are man-made
they only divide us physically
don’t let them make us
turn on each other

-we are not enemies

Rising gives way to the process of moving on and realizing how misplaced your grief was before. This section takes us through the breaking of that hard outer shell we’ve built around ourselves. It takes us through learning to adapt to a healthy relationship without comparing our new partner to our last. It shows us GROWTH. It teaches us that when we’re with the right people, we will experience growth. The “fingers” entry on page 175… oh em gee. It got me. It got me right in the feels. If you plan to read this, don’t skip ahead. Enjoy the journey this book takes you on and enjoy page 175 when it’s meant to be read. It was my favorite.

Finally we have Blooming. Blooming is all about lifting yourself up, trusting your body, finding your independence, and surrounding yourself with people who do the same. You are irreplaceable! One of a kind! Love yourself. Rejoice in the fact that your mother gave you safe passage into this world and gave you a chance to LIVE. And one of the most important points in this chapter… we are not in competition with one another. We are all different and there is no comparison. Take compliments from the people who are nice enough to give them and don’t shy away from them. Those compliments are YOURS.

These books have been so refreshing, honestly. Even through the hard parts. I enjoyed both the words written and the illustrations drawn. Beautiful. ❤

we have been dying
since we got here
and forgot to enjoy the view

-live fully

Keri

Posted in Book Review

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Read Dates: April 10, 2019 – April 11, 2019
Publication date: November 4, 2014
Source: Owned copy

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“this is the journey of
surviving through poetry
this is the blood sweat tears
of twenty-one years
this is my heart
in your hands
this is
the hurting
the loving
the breaking
the healing”

-rupi kaur

I had seen a lot of conflict over this book. While I didn’t know anything about the contents, I knew that most people either loved or despised this book. Some people were criticizing the book really hard. That was all I needed. I wanted in. So I went into this without an inkling of an idea what its pages held in wait for me.

This. book. was. HEAVY.
Maybe it was my just coming from a self help book that filled me with positive thoughts and advice for keeping my head above water. This dove right into the raw parts of me. The wounds I didn’t know were still open. There were moments when I would think “I have to stop.” But I pushed myself further into the book and I’m glad I did.

The book is split into 4 sections. The Hurting, The Loving, The Breaking, and The Healing. The first section, The Hurting was the most difficult part to read for me. The author opens up about past trauma and abuse she has encountered. While I started this section feeling uncomfortable, I soon came to find I enjoyed how blunt she was. I appreciated that she didn’t sugar coat things and that she chose the harsher terminology. After all, the things the first section cover are not pleasant and should never be sugar coated. Though I did look ahead to the section called “The Breaking” and wondered how it could be any worse than what I had just encountered during “The Hurting”.

“The Loving” was nothing like I expected. I assumed it would be happier times along the way but it was not. The author took us through unhealthy relationships and showed us how we tend to change ourselves to better suit people we want. She showed us the entirety of meeting someone, falling for them, thinking the moon revolves around their being, and altering ourselves to please them.

“The Breaking” really resonated with me. There were a lot of entries that hit me at my core. Either because I had felt them before or agreed so much with what was said. Some of the entries I simply had a great appreciation for because she had found words so poetic to describe a feeling within me and I couldn’t have said it better. A certain passage on fate really got me riled up…
“tell me. who convinced you. you’ve been given a heart and a mind that isn’t yours to use. that your actions do not define what will become of you.”
This section dealt mostly with how people leave our lives and how we handle it (or don’t handle it). It showed us the truth of how we wallow and blame ourselves for their leaving. How we think we weren’t enough for them when “the problem was you were so enough he was not able to carry it.”

The final section, “The Healing” was the wake up call. The call for you to realize your worth and stand as tall as you were born to stand. It showed us that we can’t love others if we don’t even love ourselves. It showed us that pain is a natural part of life and loneliness is our body’s way of telling us we’re in “desperate need of yourself.” It reminds us that the people that broke us in the first place will have no place in our healing. We should surround ourselves with those whose presence alone gives us healing. It encourages us to love our body the way it is. Right down to your hairy legs. Love yourself no matter what. For you stand out. You are different. You are beautiful.
I’ll leave you with two of my favorite passages from this section:

-“our backs
tell stories
no books have
the spine to
carry”-

-“we are all born
so beautiful

the greatest tragedy is
being convinced we are not”-

Keri