In the aptly named Perceptions, B. Forrest Thompson draws on his life experience — in his 78 years he has been involved in broadcasting, church music and church finance — and offers 109 very short essays about, well, just about everything. Familiar subjects, such as beauty, drugs, tolerance and honor, are covered. So are more unexpected ones, like lust, water and newspapers. There are also topics with religious overtones, including heaven, grace, salvation and sin. They are simply his perceptions: sometimes compelling, other times, less so.
His musings won’t necessarily alter your thoughts on a subject. Rather, reading his words, one gets the feeling of sitting around the family dinner table after a meal, listening to a grandparent or other elder. You’ll hear gentle opinions, some of which you might not agree with, but ones that are delivered with earnestness and sincerity, the result of years of experience.
Of beauty, he writes: “Different people find beauty in different places, and some folks have difficulty finding it at all. Those folks need help.”
Of time, he writes: “Time is the one commodity that we all have exactly the same amount of.”
To his credit, Thompson is a man of few words. In his foreword, he explains that in his younger days he sat through many long speeches and sermons, and “I came to believe that fewer words might be better remembered.” More writers should take note. Perceptions is a thin book, both in size and heft of content. It can be read cover to cover in an hour or two, though best consumed in bites, a few essays at a time.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.