Lately, I’ve been feeling like I’ve swallowed an ocean of impatience. The silver lining is that my impatience level has to do with a lot of exciting happenings on the horizon. But for now, I am just plodding along, sloshy with impatience.

I’ve decided to share an excerpt from one of my favorite, soul-moving books: Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli. I have a pet theory that quirks are the best evidence that we have souls. Most human behavior can be rationalized with biochemistry or evolutionary adaptation, but quirks–quirks are just inexplicable. There’s no reason why we should have quirks, yet they add so much color and joy to life.

The quirks Spinelli embeds in Stargirl leave me convinced that the characters have souls too.The first three paragraphs of this lively book feature one of my favorite quirks in all of literature:

When I was little, my uncle Pete had a necktie with a porcupine painted on it. I thought that necktie was just about the neatest thing in the world. Uncle Pete would stand patiently before me while I ran my fingers over the silky surface, half expecting to be stuck by one of the quills. Once, he let me wear it. I kept looking for one of my own, but I could never find one.

I was twelve when we moved from Pennsylvania to Arizona. When Uncle Pete came to say good-bye, he was wearing the tie. I thought he did so to give me one last look at it, and I was grateful. But then, with a dramatic flourish, he whipped off the tie and draped it around my neck. “It’s yours,” he said. “Going-away present.”

I loved that porcupine tie so much that I decided to start a collection. Two years after we settled in Arizona, the number of ties in my collection was still one. Where do you find a porcupine necktie in Mica, Arizona-or anywhere else, for that matter?

7 thoughts on “Stargirl: And the Evidence of Souls

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