Friday, October 23, 2015

Well, of course, take Dostoevsky...  Of course a writer is going to appear as a bit of an odd bird.  Of course the expansions and contractions of life's seasons will lead him to a particular set of material, a seriousness.  He'll come upon the things that need, or that already have their own form, at least when the statement has the pithiness it calls for.  Dostoevsky slips it into the middle of the Karamazov murder tale, lessons of the Elder Father Zosima, the life of the Russian monk.  Such a clean pure statement it overwhelms us with its simplicity and its power.  Where did he dream up the potential of the story, the elements balanced...  It had to come from his heart, on top of visiting the monastery, etc.

When you're doing that work it makes sense from psychological readings that the demons come out, when you're putting an end to a status quo of rehashing the same material and moving on to the deeper meaning, the deeper value.

My tale of a young writer, it could be squeezed in to fit within the grander more mature design of a consideration of God's love for the sinful, and this is the story he has to tell, even if he wishes it had all gone smoother the first time around and that he hadn't been so self-defeating, so shy, such a fool before one incarnation of that love for him.  This speaks of the sin of life, of turning away, or missing, or misinterpreting, or not having the faith and the belief to keep one calm even though one walks through the shadow of the valley of death.  He was able to carry that love for another being in his own flawed way, and his flaws, of course, make him real to the reader.  There's room for lots of different interpretations, nuances, instances, examples, but under them all a steady flow.

The love only gets there, only reaches its destination, I have to wonder, when it matures or rather transforms into something greater and deeper, more a thing worthy of the words of Paul.   There's reason to be happy about that, to find joy in that, vulnerable thing though it may be, to the extent that a human being can handle or carry such or maintain a daily working understanding of it.   Mature love does not want for anything, does not ask for anything, and in an odd way it has its roots all the way back during the period of a young man's errors, the misinterpreted unselfishness, the passivity, the lack of aggressive action.  The point is, one should always be a peacemaker.  And peacemaking can only come through the deeper understanding, the forgiveness, if you will.

But yes, what does redemption look like?  What does it come as?  Does it feel like the joyful relief of sex or a good bowel movement?  Does it come in the form of a new job, or new recognition, some Job-like return to the original bountiful order of things?  Does it come in monetary form, a new paycheck from a new benefactor?  Does the Princess come back into your life, thinking out loud.  Or does it not just finally come as a form of inner peace and satisfaction, that life really is more beautiful, that the human soul itself is really far more beautiful than you might have thought, that it could endure things you wouldn't want to befall you.

Writers are still drawing lessons and interpreting from the Bible and the Gospels and all that.  They come upon the things that dumbfound them, that take a lot of rest and quiet and meditation to see, the salt of life experience on top of that.  Things that might make you shudder or tremble, or say, 'no, no, who am I, a sinful man, I am not worthy to carry the light and the way, leave me be,' but still called upon by this man The Son, Jesus, his lesson.  What can you say to people?  What can you tell them?  How do you attempt to hold on to such things throughout the day?   A meaningful poetic fiction of the highest order, and yet, true because of its beauty and its beauty as a theory.

That's the credential, I suppose, you finally earn.   Some poor human interpretation here on earth.  Maybe overstepping itself.  But truly one's own being, the honest thing within.

Yeah, I was a weird bird, I picked out this house to live on a hill when it would have been much more convenient and happier and funner and friendlier down in the dorms on campus.  Some romantic notion, I suppose, that I had no idea how it would turn out.  I started on a path.  I might not have even needed to take it, just done it all right and happily and socially, normally, the first time around.  But, alas, perhaps self-defeating, perhaps prone to some negativity, I didn't.   And I am repenting now, in my own quiet way.  At least to myself and the powers that be above us.  A sinful man, called upon to tell the truth.

I suppose there's that element in Karamazov, something to the effect that one carries on, like Alyosha, that there will be sorrow suffering, but that you'll make the world a better place, as the old saying goes.  The odd bird who doesn't quite know what to do with himself, who's option is to maintain a kind of quiet monkish habit after trying to engage with the world on its own terms.

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