Life Is A Balance –
It Isn’t Only About You
Author: Philip Nork
All Things That Matter Press
“Life Is A Balance” is Nork’s follow-up book to “Misguided Sensitivity”. Both books are written in an autobiographical format, and deal with coming of age, and the issues that we face in the journey we call life. “Misguided Sensitivity” took us through the main character’s graduation from high school, which is where “Life Is A Balance” picks up.
The journey of discovery that Phil, the main character in both books is on, is all about how to interact with other people. In his case, coming to understand his own sexuality is a major part of this journey. Phil also has a gift – that of making others feel good about themselves. In “Misguided Sensitivity:, we see how this gift is interwoven with his sexuality, and how he sees himself. In “Life Is A Balance”, we see the journey become more about the people around him.
In the beginning of “Life Is A Balance”, Phil makes the decision to take a trip to Florida to meet his father. He takes his younger brother along as support. What they find is a father who welcomes them with open arms. He asks one thing … that they respect his alternate lifestyle. Phil decides to stay and live with his father, while his brother returns home. He is introduced to a lifestyle that includes his father’s luxury home, spending time in his father’s nightclub, and exploring drugs and alcohol.
He also goes through a series of relationships, each of which has a lesson for him. When the woman that he loves is killed in an accident with her alcoholic father, Phil decides to return to Missouri. With no destination in mind, he stops in a small town, gets a job, and starts setting down roots.
Throughout the book references are made to roses, and what different color roses mean. He also continues to have visits from his deceased great-grandmother, who brings him wisdom that he sometimes understands, and sometimes doesn’t. He also gets a psychic reading from the mother of one of his friends … one that has a long term effect on his life.
In the end, Phil marries and has a son. Little does he realize that the woman he marries is the granddaughter of one of his neighbors when he was growing up. They have a son, who Phil does his best to be there for.
An old flame from his past also comes back into his life … this time as a friend.
Over his lifetime Phil deals with relationship issues, betrayal, abandonment, how to accept people of all persuasions, racial perceptions, the part alcohol can play in our life if we allow it to, and the issue of AIDS. He makes his choices, and takes responsibility for them. He is also open to God, through his great-grandmothers auspices. The manner in which spiritual contact is dealt with in this book is very well done.
I recommend this book as an enjoyable read, but also as a book that will help the reader to better understand themselves, and those around them. We all deal with the same issues in life, but we deal with them in our own unique way. Nork shows us that we have choices and that if we keep our hearts open. We will receive the guidance that we need. There is a scene at the end of the book that deals with crossing over, and Nork’s perception of how that might go for him. Well worth reading!
© August 2012 Bonnie Cehovet