First rite of passage: mentoring notes from a bookish mom


photo courtesy of Ginny Schneider

Speaking of mentors, here’s a reflection by a “wise woman” invited to Ginny’s first rite of passage. Every now and then, I’ll post the words of a participating mentor to show the diversity and creativity that can  be found in the unique contribution of each person at the event. The first is from Valerie, a dear friend, and lover of all things bookish!

“It was such a privilege to be a part of Ginny’s Rite of Passage! Even so, I was filled with a sense of responsibility and some self-doubt . . . I wanted to do something consequential and yet it had to be within my capabilities. After giving it much thought I turned to my life’s passion: books!

The books I gave to Ginny were somewhat thematically similar, mostly dealing with becoming a woman and finding one’s identity and voice in society. I didn’t necessarily turn to the classics but sought out those books that had affected me viscerally when I was a young woman. It was fun for me to brainstorm and list my favorite books of all time and to see how diverse they were. I did not purposefully choose both male and female authors and authors from various cultures and time periods but this is what surfaced, much to my delight.

Like everyone else I had been given a small drawer to what would be Ginny’s communal chest of drawers. I carefully lined it with pages from an old book (I think it was a romance for those of you who might shudder to cut up a book!) and then I typed up the names of the books I was giving her and why, printed this out on parchment in a teeny-tiny font size, and then rolled it up like a scroll and placed it in the drawer.

As you can probably tell, I had a lot of fun with this and that would be my advice to someone who was preparing a rite of passage gift: tap into that which gives you joy- that is where your wisdom resides.

Here’s part of what I wrote on that tiny scroll”

“Books are dreams you can hold in your hand; dreams are books without pages.”  – Sundaira Morninghouse, Writer

Up next . . . the importance of symbols . . . .


3 thoughts on “First rite of passage: mentoring notes from a bookish mom

  1. Would love to know what was on her list!
    I love this project, Gina. I’m just beginning to read…working backwards to move forward. (I think that’s a life theme for me!) Love, Carey

    • Thanks, Carey! So great to see your name here and know that you’re following the journey! Backwards . . . forwards . . . it really doesn’t matter in the end, does it?! Yes, I will be posting her list. She’s got some great ones. Love back, Gina

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