Sarah Winman is a terrific writer and story teller. In fact my granddaughter who is reading Hunger Games and I had a hard time agreeing to put our books down for conversation during our take out supper on my back deck Saturday night.
This morning sitting in the blazing sun, I was reading the last few chapters of When God Was a Rabbit and my cynicism reared her ugly head.
Why cynicism? Because 9.11 entered the last chapters and I didn’t see it coming. Arghh I groaned. Like my mother who used to ask “can’t we have a family picture without a beer?” I’ve begun to ask “can’t we have a modern novel without 9.11?” This led me into a rabbit hole, no pun intended, thinking about why so many novels written in the last ten years include reference to 9.11.
With this event all the monsters came out of our forest and showed us in living color that we, the chosen ones, are not invulnerable. It got worse. Our reactionary behavior showed up like my foster dog’s, appropriately named Boy Dog, who chose to fight with a close-by bigger dog because he couldn’t get to the terriers nearby who aroused his flight or fight heart. He had 10 stitches; we got thousands of boys and girls killed.
I could get myself into a real downer sitting here with the sun shining on the apple trees thinking about our cultural ways of blocking out “war” and avoiding anything real that aides any survival on this blue planet. My mind is jumping around to the algae on Lake Erie and allegories in the movie Beasts of the Southern Wild and the Huger Games –which by the way Phoebe said “terrorized her” the first time she read it. It should. She’s 11!
Kristen Lamb who writes about writing, recent blog is about why zombies “are consuming our culture.” Lamb writes ‘horror’ often reflects what we’re facing as a society.” http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/why-are-zombies-consuming-our-culture/. Yikes!
And then this morning Christine Valters Painter in her blog wrote, “I am reminded of a powerful poem by Jack Gilbert about how in the midst of the world’s madness we must ‘risk delight.’ He goes on to write that ‘there will be music despite everything. The songs of the cosmos continue to ring forth no matter how much we resist.’ Valters Painter continues,
“In these days when the news offers little of solace, see if you might hold your own narrow and judgmental places with compassion, and in that softening see if you might slip slowly from their grip. Notice if that moment of inner Exodus brings the desire to dance, and if you can offer yourself the generous permission to say yes.” www.AbbeyoftheArts.com
My sister tells her dog when he begs at the table,“live in hope.” Like the dog begging at the table we write and hope for our happy endings. Yes, the book has a “hope-filled happy ending.” But remember hope is a verb. Think about it…
“A fairy tale is a story-literary or folk-that has a sense of the numinous, the feeling or sensation of the supernatural or the mysterious. Fairy tales are sometimes spiritual, but never religious.”Lane, Marcia. Picturing a Rose: A Way of Looking at Fairy Tales. New York: H. W. Wilson, 1993. ©Heidi Anne Heiner, SurLaLune Fairy Tales www.surlalunefairytales.com, http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/introduction/ftdefinition.html