I really didn’t start enjoying reading until after I graduated from University. Then it was my choice. I saw Douglas Coupland speak in London England back in 1995. It was in a small drama theater, not many people present. He read from one of his books and he spoke of reoccurring dreams he had had of nuclear attacks and mushroom clouds. I had nightmares like that too. I’m not considered ‘Generation X,’ but Coupland’s voice has always been a personal and private joy for me. I’m excited when others have read and enjoyed his work. ‘Life After God’ is a book I reread every year or so. I go back to it to ensure myself that I am not alone.
I’ve met Coupland twice. The last time was in 2007 in an audition room for a callback for his TV show ‘JPod.’ (Coincidentally I lost the role to Peter Bensen, Julia Benson’s husband. I’d like to say it was because I was so starstruck meeting Coupland, but truthfully, Peter is a really funny and strong actor. Julia, of course, plays Vanessa James in Stargate Universe) But the first time I met Douglas Coupland was in 2006 at a book signing.
(Douglas Coupland & Me, 2006)
I told him about seeing him in London, and of my nightmares. He patiently listened, posed for a picture (as shown above) and he signed my copy of ‘Life After God.’ So when I decided to revisit ‘Life After God’ just a month ago, I needed to buy a new copy, so as not to tarnish my signed edition. Every time I read this book I pause after a specific passage, and reflect on it for days…maybe you will too. Here it is:
“Every day each of us experiences a few little moments that have just a bit more resonance than other moments – we hear a word that sticks in our mind – or maybe we have a small experience that pulls us out of ourselves, if only briefly – we share a hotel elevator with a bride in her veils, say, or a stranger gives us a piece of bread to feed to the mallard ducks in the lagoon; a small child starts a conversation with us in a Dairy Queen…And if we were to collect these small moments in a notebook and save them over a period of months we would see certain trends emerge from our collection – certain voices would emerge that have been trying to speak through us. We would realize that we have been having another life altogether, one we didn’t even know was going on inside us. And maybe this other life is more important than the one we think of as being real – this clunky day-to-day world of furniture and noise and metal. So just maybe it is these small silent moments which are the true story-making events of our lives.”
– Douglas Coupland
Life After God