I wish I could give it 6 stars! I could write pages and pages about how Profound this book is! It begins with the title of the book. At five years told, Jerry Downs took his father’s double edge Gillette razor out of the medicine chest and made a blood oath to himself. With real blood dripping from his cut fingers, he said to himself: ”I, Jerry Vincent Downs, promise with all my heart, promise to find a way when I grow up, to tell adults what they have forgotten about being a kid. I promise to find a way to remind them why they were born.” In this book he is keeping that promise!
He had a challenging childhood due to the special way he learned and absorbed life, unlike his other friends in school. This got him in trouble, simply because most adults around him did not have his special “perspective” on life! One which rarely left him as he grew into adulthood. He was turned down by galleries simply because he did not “specialize” in one thing, like: nature, buildings, people, animals, and so on. Like many of the great teachers of the past and present, he is an “original thinker”! This book has been so affirming to me, one of those people who rarely fits in and inspires me to keep trying new things!!
Excerpt:” I get it now. I can see why it was important to forget what we knew as children, what we knew before we were born. If we weren’t able to forget our connection we would never be able to make the connection on our own and there would be nothing new under the sun. If we knew it all, there would be no reason to know anything. Uncertainty and chaos are the nursery for every new thought as well as every star. We did it because we are the eyes, nose, and voice of the Universe. We have hands so the Universe can have a way to hold itself and have a way to keep in touch with It’s own creation. Our senses are the way the Universe makes sense of Itself. Every separation defines the new connection. Every border, between people, nations, the past and the future, separates us, and, it also defines where we touch.
If we want the world to be wonderful we have to be full of wonder. And, the truth is, even wonder doesn’t last. Repetition habituates it into known knowledge and we are off on to discovering something new. …...I don’t remember what movie I saw that night, but I will always remember the scene of me sitting on the stairs having the flash of understanding that it’s not important to walk around in awe all the time, that it’s just nice to remember, every once in a while, that I have the choice, the option, to remember the magnitude of the miracle of being alive.”
We all read from a different perspective. For me, I cannot say enough about the incredible depth and breadth this book covers. As DeWitt Jones, a world renown National Geographic photographer says on the back cover in his closing remarks: “It’s beautiful. Everyone should read it. More than once. The world really needs to read this book.” I for one, certainly would agree! (I note I have the Hardbound copy.)