Beachcombing at Miramar: The Quest for an Authentic Life

( 3 )

Overview

Richard Bode left an unfulfilling career and an unhappy marriage to seek the truth about his life. On a California beach he contemplated the sea and shore, and tuned himself to the rhythm of the tides. His authentic self emerged. And in this remarkable and beautiful book, he shares the lessons he learned about the art of living. What does it mean to be a husband and a father? What does it mean to be a success, to be someone's lover, someone's son? Bode finds surprising answers in surprising places: in a sunset, ...
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Beachcombing at Miramar: The Quest for an Authentic Life

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Overview

Richard Bode left an unfulfilling career and an unhappy marriage to seek the truth about his life. On a California beach he contemplated the sea and shore, and tuned himself to the rhythm of the tides. His authentic self emerged. And in this remarkable and beautiful book, he shares the lessons he learned about the art of living. What does it mean to be a husband and a father? What does it mean to be a success, to be someone's lover, someone's son? Bode finds surprising answers in surprising places: in a sunset, in a piece of beach glass, in conversations shared and conversations overheard, in memories of his father. Beachcombing At Miramar is filled with unforgettable moments: a funeral for drowned fishermen, birds at dusk, and constellations in the night. And with each word picture, painted with the passion and clarity that Gauguin sought in Tahiti, Bode shows us how to see with new eyes the choices we make - from relationships we choose to relationships we flee, from careers we pursue to the ones that consume us.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
It's a common enough fantasy, moving to a hut on the beach, but Bode, author of the word-of-mouth bestseller First You Have to Row a Little Boat 1993, lives it. In this lyrical memoir, he imparts some of the quiet wonder he's found in his simple, unhurried existence. Before Bode came to Miramar, Calif., he toiled for years at a New York public relations firm that promised to make him a millionaire. But he fled, to work as a freelance writer. After 30 years of marriage, his children grown, he divorced his wife and settles on the beach. Bode cautions that "a beachcomber's life is a demanding one that calls for discipline and zeal... it's the endless seeing that causes the psychic strain. It's the richness of life in the tidal zone." The seeing here is clear-eyed and limned in sculpted, resonant prose, as Bode tells of soaking up natural beauty while confronting personal demons. He recoils when an old business associate pressures him to ghostwrite a speech: A "ghost" is what he doesn't want to be. Frantic, lonely people cross his path, as does a vibrant Portuguese woman. A dowdy, elderly couple walk past his porch. The man is bald and the woman has a wart on her cheek, but their smiles are radiant. With contemplative intensity, Bode creates here one of those small miracles of writing able to pierce the heart. Author tour. June
Library Journal
To become a beachcomber and be able to walk the beach at leisure is a dream of many. Bode First You Have To Row a Little Boat: Reflections on Life and Living, Warner, 1993 leaves a job from which he was deriving no personal satisfaction and a wife of 30 years to become a beachcomber. He gets a beach house at Miramar Beach, California, and uses his time walking the beach and ruminating about sand dollars, jellyfish, and the mist and tide in his self-described journey to the center of himself. The days and nights of irregular and random beachcombing allow him to reflect on who he is, who he wants to be, and what it means to be human. This striving for an authentic life makes this book sensitive and worthwhile reading. Recommended for public libraries.-David Schau, Kanawha Cty. P.L., Charleston, W. Va.
Kirkus Reviews
Smarmy advice on how to conduct your life from Bode (First You Have to Row a Little Boat, 1993, etc.).

Jettisoning a marriage of 30 years, Bode takes to the beachcomber's life along California's lovely Miramar coast. He troops up and down the strand, musing on the human condition. These pensées are the fruits of his ambulations. He cherishes the child's wonder, the free life: "Like a migratory bird, I move by instinct, my behavior governed by forces beyond myself." Vraiment. But without leisure and means, said lifestyle is little more than figment. The force at work here is of the white-male-with-connections variety; soft touchdowns await, a phone call away. Money is vulgar, Bode informs readers, then churlishly turns on his wife over their settlement. "I had earned the money, but I didn't need it. She hadn't earned the money, but she did need it . . . She acquired financial security; I purchased my freedom." Such honesty, hombre. Money is vulgar, though he would be nowhere without its reference points. "I might have been a millionaire; I mean that literally." He was a successful public relations man; big bucks awaited; he declined (though the river ran deep and Bode knew where to cast): "It astounds me when I think of the courage it takes to live, to behave as we want to." Most of his time is spent otherwise: crawling over parental injustices, dismissively laughing at a man confusing a sea lion with a dog, patronizing a relative who abandoned the piano. Follow your star, urges Bode, even in a relationship: "He can have his perceptions and she can have hers and the two don't have to jibe." A couple of pages later, though, he notes what a shame it is when two people "don't respond to the world about them in the same way."

Pretentious, aimless, worthless.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446518673
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 12/4/2001
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 212
  • Sales rank: 899,636
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2001

    Short But Sweet

    Don't be fooled by the size of this book. Richard Bode packs plenty of insight into a short, easy to read book. Seeing the wonder in everyday things and connecting them to his (and the reader's) life seems to be his specialty. Each chapter is certainly discussion group material.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2013

    To Erulian

    SAME. Oh, and yeah, he might like you(:

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2013

    ADVICE NEEDED

    I sorta need some boy help. So there is this guy in my class I really, REALLY like him. He is nice, funny, smart, sporty, friendly, and adorable! Anyways we are friends and I think he might like me. He is in my homeroom and most of my classes. He talks to me a lot and quite a few times I have found him staring at me. Once, he was sitting next to me during a recess and his friend invited him to come over to where a group of boys was and he shook his head and didn't move. He wasn't near any other girls. I don't know if he likes me back or not. What do you think?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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