On Donald Miller…
Sometimes I think I’m important enough for famous people to notice me. I think that all the other yahoos who comment on a famous person’s twitter, facebook, blog, whatever, are just fakes. I’m the truest, purest fan. I know that famous people don’t like to be bothered, annoyed, by those silly fans who they’ll never get to know anyway. I’m not naive enough to think that someone famous would get to know me instead of any of the other millions of people who think they know fame intimately. I’m not that naive.
And yet, there is something about Don that relates to me. He writes to me. And when I read his books, I know he is telling me a story. I think I know him inside and out. I don’t, but I think I do. If Don and I were to meet, we would be able to talk easily, and, no doubt, we would be friends right away. Sometimes, when I am feeling nostalgic, I imagine myself and Don on the rocky beaches of the Puget Sound, skipping rocks, colors melting from the sky into the mountains, he talking, and me just listening to all of his advice, all the things that he has learned in his life. What he says just makes sense. Don can put my thoughts into words without me telling him my thoughts. I can not explain how he does it. It’s as though he was born with some vast knowledge about the human soul. Somehow he obtained this knowledge and now he sells it to the rest of the world for $14.95.
I like Don because he is honest. He goes to places where most people are afraid to venture. His questions are unconventional. They are questions and feelings that most people have but are afraid to ask. I like that. I wish I were like that. But I am afraid too, so I think we would balance each other out. And that is why we would be friends. Don is not bound by the silly rules of society of what to keep “hushed” and what lies to reveal as truth. He says what is. He does not pretend to be something he is not. He is just Don. And the uniqueness of being himself is profound.
The best thing an author can do to get someone to like his writing is to make the reader part of his story. Don doesn’t only make me a part of the story he’s telling, he makes me a part of his life. He talks to me. He connects with me. He befriends me.
Currently Reading: A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, by Donald Miller. I’ll let you know what I think.
(Edited. Originally written January 28, 2008.)