Friday, September 16, 2011

A Few Observations about Today

1.  The sun wasn't up yet, so I told her as she shook my shoulder, "The sun hasn't yet come up over the edge of the world, Nora."  I pointed with my hand still limp, not yet feeling itself attached to a real body, toward the east wall of the bedroom.  Her excitement about my mentioning the "edge" confirmed she wouldn't be going back to sleep.  "You mean, there really is an edge and the sun hasn't come over it yet?!!"  Nora has tried to convince me to "please drive us to the edge of the world" and on a few occasions, we almost made it there.

2.  I've started a book by C.S. Lewis called The Problem of Pain:  How Human Suffering Raises Almost Intolerable Intellectual Problems.  We spend a lot of time in my Intro to Lit class talking about suffering because, as all good fiction writers know, you are going to have to let bad things happen to characters you love.   James Baldwin's character Sonny in "Sonny's Blues" says this:  "The tale of how we suffer and how we are delighted must be told.  It's the only light we've got in all this darkness."   Anyway, I find that I am thinking about or talking about or writing about the question of why we must suffer almost 75% of my day.    If I am going to make my students read and write literature that requires that we face suffering in others (and inevitably in ourselves), I want to be sure I can help them through this process.  I was recently told that we are here to suffer in order to become like Christ.  I think this is probably true.  In fact, yes, definitely true.  I think I began this as a way of simply saying how thankful I am that God gave us language to negotiate this terrain.  It has been, for me, a light.

3.  For a long time from the couch, I watched the white trumpet flowers of the morning glories blow in the wind and imagined the invisible song like breath that must have been audible to divine ears alone.

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