It’s never too late to turnaround
I turned on Smithson Valley Road heading down to Highway 1863 to leave my neighborhood in Bulverde.
Unfortunately, there was a big accident that occurred at the intersection, several fire trucks. I could see a badly damaged car and an 18-wheeler truck. I would later find out that someone had died at the scene of the accident.
I had to figure out a way to turn around and follow other cars to maneuver different streets to get where I wanted to go.
Jim Asparro in his wonderful third novel “Turnaround” (previous novels include “Salt of The Earth: A Portland Story and Obsessed”) addresses this reality of the need for changes in a person’s life in order that better maturation, fulfillment, and meaning may emerge in living.
Theo Hall is a successful classical violinist. He has been profiled as a prodigy for a classical music program for public television. He is the star performer for the Portland Youth Philharmonic (PYP). He and his family reside in Portland, Or (Lake Oswego). He should be on top of the world but instead he is felling empty, as if he is a riding on a train and watching desolate terrain rush by his window.
Theo has not learned yet that the people he loves and admires are affected by his decisions, especially after he is involved in a tragic accident that effects his ability to play the violin.
Turnaround concerns the journey that Theo takes, along with other characters in the book, from places of desolation to places of transformation.
Theo listens to his Pastor the Rev. Dr. Ben Dawson who describes how a Lima Bean stem in a glass jar will consistently turn around upside down and turn again in its quest for growth, eventually using up its nutrients before it dies.
This metaphor of the Lima Bean becomes a prescription for how Theo can begin to unravel and break free from the stuck paces in his life.
Asparro masterfully tells this story amidst commentary regarding how contemporary mainline Christianity can really make a difference in our world. He weaves this theme along with the exploration of classical musicians and their love of music.
Jim also paints a wonderful tribute to the city of Portland, Or with its scenery, landmarks, and history.
Turnaround is a great book, with several constant moving plots and intriguing characters.
Asparro has shown us how to appreciate the gifts that we have and still be motivated to give back to those who do not possess these gifts nor resources.
“Turnaround” reminds us that it is never too late to “turn around “and make a change or two in our lives.
May it be do for all of us.
To learn more about Asparro’s “Turnaround,” visit www.jamesasparro.com.
Rev. Peter E. Bauer is a United Church of Christ minister. He is the Interim Minister for First Christian Church in Lockhart and is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and Medium.com.