Thursday, October 22, 2009

Burrowing Deep - Part II

A Holistic Conclusion

Now just in case you’re thinking, after reading Part One of this rant, that this is going to be another of Roberta’s sermons, advocating religion and God belief, let me assure you that is not the case.

You may leave ‘The Good Book’ on the dusty shelf, because there are other books that build conscience, (dare I say way more effectively than even that one?). But, like so many other things I have mentioned, these books too are collecting dust – no longer in vogue.

Foremost in my mind are Charles Dickens’ books. Charles Dickens is the strongest advocate I have ever read that makes me fully aware of the pain of hopelessness, poverty, bullying, and cruelty in all its aspects. I truly believe if his books were required reading in elementary schools, there would be no bullying, violence, or cruel taunting of other children. In surprising ways, Dickens’ books mold the best of an ethical conscience without Biblical reference.

Now I wonder if you will allow me for just one brief moment to deviate from the topic at hand. I have wondered and tossed around in my mind for most of a lifetime, whether it is fair to a critically ill or injured individual to let them know for a certainty that their transition is near at hand or if one should slide around the issue.

After reading about the devastating hopelessness of young boys in Dickens’ book “Nickolas Nickleby”, I finally have an answer to the question. No matter what the situation, no one has the right to take away, (or falsely add to) an individual’s hope, regardless of how fleeting or short-lived that hope may be. In that, I’m sure many would disagree, but I’m just saying that is the conclusion I have come to. Each and every separate individual must be allowed to keep whatever primeval and fundamental hope they have within themselves – without outside tampering. There is a kindness in allowing the primeval and fundamental hope within oneself to be left alone.

One of the biggest reasons it just isn’t fair to tamper with a person’s ‘hope’, is because ‘hope’ authors courage and wee moments of joy in the direst of circumstances.

Now with that discussion now concluded, let us return to the original topic. So while others seek ethical guidance in The Good Book, Dickens gives his readers a fuzzy soft heart without them wanting it, seeking it, or expecting it.

And so, now you may argue, “Is this so different from ethics taught through prepared flow charts, manuals, self-help books, and workshops?”

Indeed it is different. Because at no time does Dickens provide instruction. He simply provides for the reader an organic diet of the personal experiences of children, adults, families, and society as a whole, without ethical processing, refinement, or preaching.

If you are only aware of Dickens “A Christmas Story”, you probably wonder what I am yapping about. Well, to be quite honest with you, although the story touches on ethics of generosity and caring, it is the story I least like of all Dickens’ work. Just way too much fiction and fantasy in that story for me particularly because I was born so drenched and saturated in fantasies of my own.

But Dickens’ books are not the only books capable of doing what his books do – but his and other such books are no longer in vogue. The libraries have been pretty well cleansed of the books that tell raw and holistic stories of the hopelessness of the starving beggar, the orphaned child, the forgotten waif, or the betrayed love one. Discarded to make way for synthetic wizards and relationships of caricatures with generic souls and superficial conscience whose greatest trial is loss of flight or a spell convoluted by the unexpected interference of a purple haze.

And so my brain aches for some tiny miraculous sign from heaven or earth that we might find out way back to nobler hearts for the sake of ourselves, and the successors of the present generation. But I see nothing to give me ‘hope’ as I meander about soberly with head downcast to protect the magic wizard-like lens in one eye from the sun. And so I have decided to take off my glasses and look upward and allow the sun to magnify the heat in my brain the same way that the organics of the human mind have been artificially magnified by the application of technical and chemical interference.

And, as earlier stated, if what ‘they say’ is true, the magnified burn applied to my eye will reduce to ashes the anxieties in my brain. After all, the road I walk, is not so long that I need these dismal thoughts laboring there.


Pauline said...

Ah,Roberta - get thee to the public library (or to and take a look at the books written by Allison McGhee (Shadow Baby, Rainlight, Was It Beautiful), or Kathi Appelt's The Underneath, or The Porcupine Year by Louise Erdich. You'll feel much better about children's literature afterwards...

joared said...

Ah, you are deep deep with your pondering. I have difficulty coming to the core of your conclusions as my thoughts travel a different pathway.

I find integration of scientific findings, be they chemicals and neuronal electrical firings within the brain, with still mysterious elements reassuring and exciting. Some matters are either/or, black or white, yes or no, but most intriguing to me are all the others.

Always, I come back to the individual and how we each are so different though we are also the same. An approach best suited for one person may not be for another. Hope is not necessarily withdrawn to select individuals by their being honestly told their life situation and could even be a comfort, I suggest. Withholding such information might well be wise for another person. We each might be wise to make certain our loved ones know our thoughts, wishes and desires on such issues.

I'm glad you're putting these burning thoughts on paper rather than allowing the suns ray to burn through your eye's lens incinerating them in your brain, possibly along with the essence of you.

joared said...

Oops, meant to say, "...thoughts in print..." in that last paragraph.

Roberta S said...

Pauline, thank you for your words of comfort and the library directive. Life will be better if I can find the kind of literature I was so certain no longer exists.

Roberta S said...

Thank you, joared, for visiting and joining the discussion. As I've told you in past conversations, your comments always hold new intrigue and wisdom for me to wrap my mind around, and I do appreciate it.