Its a Tom Robbins Kinda Thing

I received Rob Brezsny’s weekly newsletter in my inbox earlier:

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In addition to food, air, water, sleep, and love, every human being needs stories. No one can psychically survive without the continuous flow of narrative through his or her imagination.

And just as there is a big difference between the physical nourishment provided by a salad or by a candy bar, so is there a wide range of quality in the stories you expose yourself to. Soaking up the adventures of über-playboy Hugh Hefner and his three girlfriends on the TV show “The Girls Next Door” will probably deplete your energy and lower your intelligence, while reading Tom Robbins’ novel *Jitterbug Perfume* may enhance your mental hygiene and sharpen your perceptions.

What I’m saying here is always true, of course, but it’s especially important for you to keep in mind right now. From what I can tell, you’re ravenous for beautiful, uncanny, uplifting stories.

First of all, I fell in love with the phrase and ideal that survival is a condition best met with “the continuous flow of narrative through (my) imagination”. Brought a smile to my face and a quickening to my pulse. Why? The words were sustenance to my soul’s imagination. 😉 Let me explain….

I know I’ve outed myself as “wordy” or “loquacious” or being “all about the wordplay” (Note: Kudos to Mr. Mraz!) On FaceBook, my bumper sticker is:

My FaceBook Bumper Sticker

Its what my daughter says when I begin to ramble

And one of my favorite quotes is this:

“I can’t help but to immediately begin to shape sentences when I see something amazing. Its my way of feeling like I’m actually standing or lying here with someone. Its always been my best friend and counselor…its how I celebrate every aspect of my spiritual self. This is the reason I am on this adventure.” (Jason Mraz)

All of this to say that when asked to attend a book party as my favorite author or character from a story (great idea too, c.a.!), after overt-thinking it quite a bit, I decided to go as Tom Robbins.

(Click to see the Literary Party Pics)

Becoming Tom Robbins - after & Before

Becoming Tom Robbins

I love the way he uses his words (That’s right – I sound like a pre-school teacher!! “Use your words, children”) I love that his stories are full of words that while describing or painting a mental image, use all of the senses in the telling of their stories. Its like the stories he tells are rendered tangible in the playground of my imagination and I can immerse myself into the lines, one by one, as they weave their storybook magic.

So Mr. Brezsny’s reference to my FAVORITE Tom Robbins’ novel, Jitterbug Perfume, adds emphasis to the flow of his words and a fresh sense of anticipation for the coming week. I’m motivated to re-read Mr. Robbins in the certainty that when I do, I’ll feel that creative spark of the Divine that inspires me.

The beginning of the newsletter also contains excerpts from other sources. The one that stood out to me was an excerpt from an Esquire magazine article Tom Robbins wrote in 1993. I’m paraphrasing in the spirit of less scrolling, but the title has a link to the whole article.




Mental Bungee-jumping may not be your sport of choice, but there’s a cerebral ledge that sooner or later each of us has to leap off. One day, ready or not,

we glance in a mirror, cuddle an infant, attend a funeral, walk in the woods, … chance a liaison, wake in the night with a napalm lobster in our chest, read a message from the pope or the Dalai Lama, get lost in Verdi or lost in the stars – and wind up thinking about our soul.

Yes, the soul. You know what I mean.

If you need to visualize the soul, think of it as a cross between a wolf howl, a photon, and a dribble of dark molasses. But what it really is, as near as I can tell, is a packet of information. It’s a program, a piece of hyperspatial software designed explicitly to interface with the Mystery. Not a mystery, mind you, the Mystery. The one that can never be solved.

To one degree or another, everybody is connected to the Mystery, and everybody secretly yearns to expand the connection. That requires expanding the soul.

These things can enlarge the soul:

laughter, danger, imagination,

meditation, wild nature, passion,

compassion, psychedelics, beauty,

iconoclasm, and driving around in the rain with the top down.

These things can diminish it:

fear, bitterness, blandness,

trendiness, egotism, violence,

corruption, ignorance, grasping,

shining, and eating ketchup on cottage cheese.

…More immediately, by waxing soulful you will have granted yourself the possibility of ecstatic participation in what the ancients considered a divinely animated universe. And on a day to day basis, folks, it doesn’t get any better than that.

By Tom Robbins Esquire, October, 1993


4 Responses

  1. you are so right, tom robbins’ writing is great. loved that last piece about the soul.

  2. i would echo your progeny – Words Words Words…
    but lots of good ones…
    and no you don’t look like TR but I think he would love that silk blouse 🙂

    I thought I did an OUTSTANDING job of creating a TR likeness!! My friends, most of whom have known me for almost a decade, did not know it was me, which I took as a compliment 😉 … And it was a sueded nubuck shirt, but thanks!

  3. DON’T LOOK LIKE TOM ROBBINS?! I will have to disagree with Larry G. You had to have been there….when she walked into the book party, even her best of friends did not know who she was! They thought that I had brought some guy to the party other than my husband. LOL
    Never in my life have I been so freaked out by a costume!
    Now,she may not have looked exactly like him…..but boy oh boy can that girl act!!!!!!!!!

  4. OH MY GOD! Please take my fat-assed picture OFF of the internets!

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