Title: The Path
Author: S.J. Rozan
In: Home Improvement (Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Buddhism, Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 19th September 2020
Format: Short story
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
5th sentence, 74th page: I’d love to send them, too.
He’s a spirit who just wants to move onto the next life. But first he has to restore the head from a Buddha statue and figure out how to let go of the materialism of the past.
I absolutely love the fact that this short story is about Buddhism and reincarnation. In a collection of urban fantasy short stories based around home improvement… I really wasn’t expecting something like this. And I absolutely adored how it was so different from the other stories in this collection. With a whole other mythos and renovation system that I just didn’t expect.
Even though this short story was semi-serious, I found it really cute and humorous. After all, the spirit who is supposed to be guarding the cave is kind of gentle and unwilling to really confront anyone. What a different form of punishment for misdeeds in life, or, in the case of this monk, the inability to say goodbye to the material objects we tie ourselves to. I might not be entirely the philosophy I want to adopt – I don’t want to just say goodbye to everything, but it is a good idea to be a little less attached to all of the crap that we collect…
I love that this story is all about The Path to enlightenment and moving through the circles of reincarnation to obtain perfection. In each reincarnation, a different obstacle is overcome, and in the case of the main character in this – it’s his timidity that he eventually has to overcome. We carry our burdens even in death and try not to take them onto our next lives. Or at least, that’s how I read this short story and I seriously, seriously enjoyed it.
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