He often thought about death. The afterlife is where everyone meets, not just the ones we knew but also the ones we did not know. Only those who did not believe in the afterlife were not there, my mother said. – James Salter, “All That Is.”
Although common consensus is that summer is the best season for publishing, for someone like me who think novels are so much more than just fiction, novels feel most special during this in-between season when the carefree days are gone and dark and cold days await us. I have never felt completely free, nor have I figured out life. This is why I find the quote from the novel by James Salters, who passed away at the age of 90, comforting at this time of the year – It gives me hope that there will be more to this life.
“All That Is” follows a man named Phillip Bowman who leads an average life. A son of a single mother, World War II, university, one marriage, one divorce, several relationships, one of which ends in betrayal, the death of his mother, later life after reasonable career success. The author depicts the mediocre life of Bowman, which resembles very much his own life, without a pity or pride, and the book ends with old Bowman making a decision to go on a long trip.
Past the half point of my life, I started my own publishing company last year after working for someone else for a long time. My life will continue as is except for a few bumps that are to be expected in publishing. I will cherish memories than adventures and have to say goodbyes to some. When such anxiety washes over me, I am always reminded of what Salters said in the book that there is another world for those who believe in it. If you have to believe something, it means you have not experienced it. And if you have not experienced it, it means there is still a possibility. Enduring the here and now with the excitement about a different life. Colder months are the best season to read.