Thursday, May 7, 2009

And then there was sun...

beautiful, bright, and yellow sun.
And the swell of spring and possibility
made breathing a little easier--
a little lighter
if only for awhile.

I met with the book club a few nights ago and discussed Margaret Atwood's novel The Handmaid's Tale. The "tale" is nothing short of disturbing. In the book, a religious sect establishes a community of fear, entrapment, and hopelessness. The main character, whose name is never mentioned, a fact that strongly reinforces the degradation she has recieved in society, often struggles not only with her environment and unfortunate situation, but also with the danger of her own will. Atwood is also commenting largely on gender roles and political power. I still don't have it all figured out in my head, but I can give the author props for her storytelling. The work is saturated with imagery, symbolism and goregous language. In fact, (this won't give too much away) the women in the book are acutally denied the right to read. Atwood's ability to excercise her impressive vocabulary is ironic in light of the limitations of her characters. Favorite passage:

What I need is perspective. The illusion of depth, created by a frame, the arrangement of shapes on a flat surface. Perspective is necessary. Otherwise there are only two dimensions. Otherwise you live with your face squashed against a wall, everything a huge foreground, of details, close-ups, hairs, the weave of the bedsheet, the molecules of the face. Your skin like a map, a diagram of futility, crisscrossed with tiny roads that lead nowhere. Otherwise you live in the moment. Which is not where I want to be. (143)

I think maybe a balance has to be accomplished between wishing for future perspective and living in the moment. We don't know what God has planned, but to never anticipate or prepare for anything would probably make us all incredibly idle. Or maybe it would make us all incredibly reliant on the Him...'tis a mystery. That's something that's been difficult lately. Lord, what do you want? When we don't know....I guess we just take a leap...


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