Dearest Reformed El Windbaggo,
I feel like I've been beating a dead horse, or perhaps
some whimsical creature of fantasy. ;) You clarify your point
perfectly with your historical examples of groups (and we could add many
more along with individuals) who have gone down fighting. Hope may go
down with them, then bubble along underneath the current of their
stories, popping up elsewhere like a buoy, to inspire and challenge others. So as you
intimate hope doesn't die with those people but becomes a pregnant idea
for a different time and place. "That they would not accept
meekly what overwhelming power had dictated would be their fates! They would be true to their spirits every
moment before they exited this life." Would that that would be us, and our readers.
Ah, we have, if not a meeting of the minds, then at least a meeting of the stubborn spirits. ;)
And no one is advising, but I find that limitations are exacting. :) The refiner's fire of editing. lol
I'm reading The Help,
the best seller (which, by the way, was rejected 60 times before
finding a publisher. I love the perseverance represented in that. ) about how domestic help was treated in the
pre-civil rights south. It is such a perfect picture of this chapter.
There's the fraudulent appearance on the surface that everything was
just fine and everyone was happy with the situation. But who was happy?
The people who benefited the most from the system remaining unchanged.
And they perpetuated the illusion that those at the mercy of the status
quo were content with the way things were, even forcing them to voice
approval of the injustice they were victims of.
"Abileen, you like having your own toilet, don't you?"
we do see the domestic help muster the courage to speak the truth.
Quietly, carefully at first, with pounding hearts and drawn shades. But
the truth is a powerful thing. It may get shoved around a bit, yet it
cannot be made to disappear. It does however need the conduit of words.
Are we going to call out truth; are we going to name it? Can we bear to
give ugliness a voice? Hedges' willingness to speak, not only in this book but elsewhere, a truth few want to hear is
The book has me asking--do we have it in us?
Are we, as a culture, as a people, equipped to do the hard work
necessary? The intro to the next chapter hardly seems as if the author
has much hope.
We would rather be ruined than changed;
We would rather die in our dread
Than climb the cross of the moment
And let our illusions die.
~ W.H. Auden, The Age of Anxiety
Where do we go from here?
*This week's brevity brought to you by Life. :)