Part-Time Angels …and 75 others
by Richard Bach
Reviewed by Matthew Miller
Part Time angels…and 75 others is the latest work of Richard Bach. He has written many books over the last 40 years, but is probably best known for his bestselling, Jonathan Livingston Seagull.
Part Time angels…and 75 others is a little different from Richard Back’s other books. Each chapter contains a truth, remembrance or observation as experienced by Bach. Now in his late seventies, Bach is doing a rather intensive review of his life and the different experiences and opportunities they have afforded him. They cover the gamut from realizing mistakes in judgement to the simple yet powerful connection and love for the dogs in his life.
In a chapter entitled, Everyone Can’t, Anyone Can, Mr. Bach writes about the practice of people telling others “You can’t do that.” stifling creative ideas and actions. You can apply this to just about any idea or creative thought you might have had that was crushed by those we love and respect. He relates that his mother never followed that practice. She told him that he could do anything he wanted to do, no matter what others said or did. This simple statement provided the strength to continue in his quests throughout the darkest times of his life.
Speaking to the dogs in his life, I was particularly moved by his account of the ten years he shared with his dog, Lucky. The connection will not be a surprise to those who are close to their pets. Lucky became more than a companion by always being there to comfort Richard, not only during the ten years, but beyond.
Toward the end of the book, he relates part of the philosophy that has guided him to this point in his life. It came about during a type of ritual he would use to help him through difficult times. He would hold a question in his mind, close his eyes, open his book, Messiah’s Handbook, and choose the left or right page. He would then open his eyes and read the answer to his question. This process brought him a great deal of peace as the fear he had surrounding the question would dissolve.
However, about 20 years ago, sitting in an Iowa cornfield, he posed a question that had deeply troubled him. When he opened his eyes, he read, “Everything in this book may be wrong”. Bach was so outraged that he threw the book as far into the cornfield as he could, vowing never to use the process again.
Twenty years later he received, in the mail, the book that he had thrown away. It was recovered by the farmer who owned the land. The book was in fairly good shape as it had been plowed under many times, somewhat insulating it from the weather. After receiving it, he decided to try the process one more time. So he posed the question in his mind, “Dear strange mystical volume, why did you come back?” Opening his eyes, he read, “Every person, all the events of your life, are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you.”
The two examples noted above are just a small sampling of the many thoughts and musings that helped define Bach’s life and his connections to the people and animals with whom he shared life experiences.
One of Back’s greatest talents is his skill in weaving together seeming unrelated incidents in his life into a striking tapestry of memories, scenes, and lessons learned. I recommend this book to those who have read any or all of the 23 books Richard Bach has written, as well as for those who are now just discovering his great insights.
Share Your Angel Moments
After reading Richard Bach’s latest book, Part-Time angels…and 75 others I went to his website and read several posts of moments that occurred in people’s lives that changed everything. I know each of us has experienced at least one of those types of moments in our lives. What better way to show our gratitude than to share our stories with each other. So please share your Angel Moment story here.