Sunday, September 04, 2005


It's late, and I should be sleeping, however, my mind is caught on a mill wheel in which water makes its circular rounds again and again....

For these last five days or so, I've been engrossed in two things only: 1) Hurricane Katrina; and 2) "The Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Fact and fiction: horror and mystery; reality and escape. I know that psychologists say that focus on disaster is unhealthy, but I can't help it. I'm the type that can handle brutal war movies also. I want to know what certain circumstances are like, how people are coping, what reality is like. Some people would say that it's due to morbidity, but I would rather attach it to attributes of mercy (sounds better, right?). But, I do want to know what others' experiences are so that I can understand and feel it better. Knowledge, to me comes also through feeling and not only through thinking. Of course, feeling requires action as a subsequent step, and, besides contributing money, goods, and prayer, I'm at a loss as to what to do besides making myself aware. Awareness is good but should lead to activity.

The other fascination has been the book "The Shadow of the Wind" By Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Alright. I did not want to get caught up in this fiction written by a Spanish author (expect the realm of the subjective to engage with the objective in a seamless way); I mean the book is dubbed a 'romance' a 'suspenseful mystery' ... 'Gothic'. One character himself, Fermin, is highly satirical about religion/faith in a way that I, unfortunately, find humorous (a la Canterbury tales). However, the spell has swept me in; the mystery that the book unravels is too well constructed, so I've been muting the CNN commercials and diving into my chapters melding this weird existence of base reality into mysterious fantasy (although it's grim too). And, through the middle of this, my husband and I were in Little Rock where he interviewed for a job. The Hilton Hotel, with its giant headboard, on University Avenue, has a role in this cerebral, merciful stew as well. So does the Clinton museum bookstore. So does a few margueritas. Okay, no more ingredients needed.:)

Fortunately, all mysteries will be solved soon as I'm nearing the last 90 pages of the book. As a family person, I can't slip away so entirely like I did today. We're back home and things need to be washed and scrubbed and the kids need outlets (unfortunately, they don't consider books as such). However, if ever you need or want to admire excellent plot construction, you must read this book and lose yourself for a while in it. It's wonderfully annoying (if you're a sensitive Christian reader, though, you may find yourself offended in many ways). I think it's worth the plunge.

Dear Father, please help those who sleep on cots tonight wake up to reunion, comfort, and hope.

2 comments:

lady laura said...

Speaking of book recommendations, I've been meaning to ask you if you have ever read Elizabeth and Her German Garden by Elizabeth Von Arnim. I found it at random in the library and enjoyed it thoroughly. It's full of lovely descriptions about how she goes about teaching herself how to garden, what was acceptable for propertied women of her time, and witticisms and musings about marriage and children. Sweet and funny:-) And short.

Fieldfleur said...

Sounds great! i will keep my eye out for it. Thanks, Laura!