Are there people who have shaped your fundamental beliefs, comforted you in times of pain, given you hope when there was none and yet, you have never met them, spoken to them or directly heard from them? I have many such influential people in my life and most of them are the authors of cherished books. One of them is Richard Bach.
If I had to make a short list of books that transformed my life in unforgettable ways, “Illusions” would feature very high on that list. I read it when I was just out of school and then many times over. The simple language, concise style and subtle humor spoke to me in a way that few books had. I was so deeply touched by this book, that it became akin to my personal version of an unofficial index of compatibility. You can bet that my closest friends from those days would share a love and respect for the said book.
Over the years, I have often revisited it. Every single time, a fresh insight or a fresh flavor still draws me back to it again and again. I guess as I change, what I get out of the book changes too.
Many years later, when I wrote my book submissions for SOUL – Student of Universal Law, I was asked to list similar books. While I will not compare my own book to “Illusions”, I am happy to believe that I too write fiction that communicates deeper meaning in what I hope is a light and concise manner. One more area in which I thank Richard Bach’s long reaching influence.
At present, I am completing a collection of short stories. My books seem to write themselves and I enjoy the process of reading what emerges in the unplanned story lines. Last night, after many many months, I was reminded of ‘Illusions’ once again. As I wrote, one of the characters reached a pivotal point in his life and was grateful to come across a particular quote by Richard Bach. I smiled as I wrote it, marveling at how Richard Bach is influencing my character’s life. I have no idea as to whether this will pass my editor’s desk and whether there are any publishing permissions required to retain the same. At the moment, it fits in beautifully. And gave me one more opportunity to send silent thanks and appreciation to Richard Bach.
Today evening, I was taken aback by the unexpected way in which Bach was back in my awareness. While scrolling through the FB newsfeed, I saw a post by another author, John Harricharan, sharing the news that Bach was his old friend and had been in a plane crash.
I am astonished at the weavings of the world. The crash perhaps occurred just around the time I was remembering/writing about him, after all these months. Was the universe bringing something to my attention again, because this news is impactful to me in my own little world? I don’t know.
I do know that Richard Bach is reported to be in critical condition right now. I add my prayers to the long list flowing his way.
I have seen enough of life and death to realize one thing. Accept what happens and trust that it is in the highest.
So what is the point of this post at this time? To send deep love and sincere appreciation to a wise soul who has no clue as to how greatly he has influenced my life.
And I thought I should acknowledge what he has meant to me – now.
There is no better time than the present moment.
Thank you Richard Bach.
Love and light.
Image of book cover from Flipkart.com – ‘Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah’
(Paperback) by Richard Bach, Publisher: Dell(1989)