16 September 2009

Truth in fiction

In the midst of cleaning and golf tournament stuff yesterday, I also dipped into a new murder mystery. The temptation was to ditch the tasks of the day, but I practiced great grueling discipline, reading only briefly.

I enjoy fiction more and more, sometimes for the story, but more for the truth the stories express. There are, of course, no new story lines; every one of those is used again and again and again. Frequently then, the story line between the covers of the book are remarkably familiar. Self recognition does come as something of a shock. In ways that tend to surprise us the same things happen to all of us that happen to everyone else.

Within those stories between the covers of the book are also reactions and feelings and reflection and learning. And, in those things we can recognize ourselves as well. If we want to, that is.

Anyway, page 76 in my new book ... "One thing I already learned in the ministry: everyone hit sinkholes in the journey, those places along the road where reason turns to bog."* I know that. I KNOW that. But, reading it yesterday turned into one of those moments. There's something in the way the character (and the writer) think it/say it that struck a match, illuminating in a flash my recent ruminations.

Reason turning to bog. That's not to let the rude or the cheater or the closed minded (or myself) off the hook. But, it does invite me to kindness and to patience. Now please do note: I didn't say anything about "best" friendship or any friendship at all for that matter. Just giving others the benefit of the doubt, sincerely. Who knows what might have turned reason into bog?

*"A Deadly Thing, They Say." Leslie Winfield Williams. Munsing OK: Tate Publishing, 2007

No comments: