Sunday, 5 February 2012

A showdown with the truth.

My favorite part of the book East of Eden is when Lee's father told him the horrific story of how his mother died: "his mother went into labor early, while still in the camp; the men then discovered she was a woman and, behaving as animals, did unspeakable things to her. When Lee’s father found her she was dying, and by her request he clawed her stomach open with his bare hands and delivered the baby." Then Lee recounts:

"And when my father would tell me [the story] I would say to him, 'Get to that lake--get my mother there--don’t let it happen again, not this time. Just once let’s tell it: how you got to the lake and built a house of fir boughs.' And my father became very Chinese then. He said, 'There’s more beauty in the truth even if it is a dreadful beauty. The storytellers at the city gate twist life so that it looks sweet to the lazy and the stupid and the weak, and this only strengthens their infirmities and teaches nothing, cures nothing, nor does it let the heart soar."

Since reading that for the first time, I think I've tried to become a little bolder in facing truths in my own life, looking them in the eye and at the least, giving a nod to their existence. I've found that for the most part when I do that, the truth looks back at me, gives me a little nod of respect in return and then I know and can see exactly what I'm up against, the true beauty of what I'm dealing with - I am awake and ready to rumble.

1 comment:

Bonnie White said...

I'd forgotten that part of the story. And I'm glad you reminded me of it and that you are a little bolder in facing truths.