knots (Ultimate Blog Challenge #18)

Ultimate Blog Challenge

A to Z Blog Challenge: Tale Spinning

At seventeen, I read a book. Nothing before, or after, has had such a profound effect on my life (reading wise, that is). My head swam for hours after I read it, completely overpowering sleep or any other thought but the puzzles, the knots, the twisting and turnings of logic into the illogical, the pretenses and hurts we put on ourselves and one another.

Yes, I’ve read books that have inspired me, caused me to think, have altered the way I lead drama and storytelling programs (see yesterday’s post: and then, you act), have justified various things in my life, or the book that started me on the path to be a voracious reader (that’s a post to come).

knots by rd laing

1: They are playing a game. They are playing at not playing a game. If I show them I see they are, I shall break the rules and they will punish me. I must play their game, of not seeing, I see the game.

That’s the first page in it’s entirety. The book is only 90 pages long, but in it’s brevity it is highly complex as theΒ  read continues. As stated by James Gordon in hisΒ  NY Times books review: “To grasp this dense and difficult book one must be willing to follow Laing in his spirals of descent. If Knots is to yield, one must yield to the knots. ”

I remember finding the book in poetry, going through my poetry/existentialist reading period,and I was looking for something new. I read the back cover (quote above), flipped through it, and paid the $1.65 for it. Yes, if you click on the link above, it’ll take you to Amazon US, where a hardcover reprinting is selling for $235.00. Go check your local library. $235.00???? Wonder what my beat up, often read, paperback copy is worth? my room, in my upholstered rocking chair (gift from an uncle), door closed, I read the book. And read it again. And my head went kablooey. So many things that swam by me in life, that I was trying to make sense of, kind of clicked in. I knew I was “offbeat”, knew I wasn’t good at playing the games (still not that great at it: just tell me like it is, period), and this book..this 90 page hump of a read, blew me away.

I feel that this book helped me to see that my non-linear thinking was not as out there as I thought it was. It has, through my aging (never growing up!) to have found it’s way for me to find depths in communications and associations, not always taking things at face value, and most likely is why I found such a connection with improvisation, in both theater and storytelling.

At 17, I read a book. Twice in one night. After the second reading, and when my mind finally slowed down enough, I wrote:

I am Stuart Nager.
Some people know me as Stuart Nager.
There are those who can’t acknowledge that I am Stuart Nager.
To them, I may not be Stuart Nager.
Then…who am I?

Who are YOU?

15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. TS Redmond Mize
    Apr 18, 2011 @ 13:11:59

    Wow..that is so simple, so pure and such a great message. And OWWWWWW at the price! LOL

    I was waiting for your post to pop up on my friends list! πŸ˜€


  2. Alejandro
    Apr 18, 2011 @ 13:46:13

    ok now I’m impressed. You are an awesome writer with many talents. I feel humbled at your writing skills and appreciate the you or is it not?



  3. Lisa
    Apr 18, 2011 @ 14:42:53

    Loved this! Thanks for sharing. It made my brain work on a Monday morning, which is a good thing! πŸ™‚


  4. Alpana Jaiswal
    Apr 18, 2011 @ 14:45:40

    Thanks for stopping by my post,and I am glad you did..or else I would have never discovered you…and I like being here,taking my time to read your posts..


  5. Tracey Rissik
    Apr 18, 2011 @ 18:27:36

    Hi Stuart,

    Very profound – thanks for your review of the book too.
    (For any UK readers interested, it’s on Amazon here quite reasonably.)
    One review said this “This book is underrated at 5 stars.” … combined with your review, I’ve bought myself my own dog-eared copy & look forward to messing with my brain a bit πŸ™‚

    best wishes


  6. Michelle
    Apr 18, 2011 @ 22:15:08

    I thoroughly thoroughly enjoyed it…I m going to get the book..not yet but soon.


  7. Yogasavy
    Apr 19, 2011 @ 12:23:52

    Who am I? A simple question but very complex to answer may be i will know in this life time or maybe not but for now I have scratched below the surface!


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