Saturday, July 16, 2011

9/365 A Severed Wasp

Another knockout.  Gee whiz.

You know how I said the other day that I find so many contradictions within myself?  Well, I've got one going now.  I feel like reading these L'Engle books is working me through things I'm concerned about - but then I also scoff and tell myself I'm making mountains out of mole hills, letting my estimation of my own sensitiveness and needs and all that get overblown.

Wikipedia quotes somebody named Carol F. Chase as saying that "Forgiveness - and the question of who is qualified to forgive - is one of the main themes of A Severed Wasp." And, by gum, she's right.  If I was more worried about forgiveness, it might have been a big help to me.  Just recently every book I read seemed to talk about how when a person really sees how little they deserve forgiveness, it gets a lot easier to forgive others.
Gosh, there was just so much in this book.  Stuff about marriage, fidelity, guilt, religion, and how "Christ is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you." (I read that verse this morning - of course.  Life is very woven-up together, isn't it?)  One of the things that really struck me was the way Katherine's past is always invading the present.  I know "coming to terms with her memories" or whatever was a part of this particular story, but I noticed the same quality in The Small Rain.  Anyways, the past and present have always mixed themselves together like that for me, and it made Katherine feel more real.  Does everybody live like that, with the past always there?

What really interested me in the story (besides the story itself, which was riveting) was the stuff about vocation.   I'm kind of stuck on the subject right now.

Okay.  I read way too many books and see too many movies about people with artistic vocations.   About people who were meant to be pianists or actors and have to do so or be lost.  They know they're good at what they do. They're people with drive, and they passionately go after one thing.  I don't.  And, you know what?  This evening, I feel okay with that.  There was a character in the story, a bright young girl who has truly talented siblings, and she's beginning to be poisoned by jealousy. But at one point, a nun says that the girl is really normal - she just feels like the freak among her siblings because she doesn't have a thing.
I knew this already, yet felt like I was learning it for the first time - people with vocations like that are not normal.  I, a directionless youth, am normal.  I don't have to have some all-consuimg vocation.  I probably wouldn't even like it if I did - from what I've seen, life is much more dangerous when you do.  That makes me sound cowardly, but when I think of how terrible it would be to need to do something and not be able to do it, I'm a teensy bit relieved that I'm vocation-less.  I mean, in these L'Engle books alone, two people who were meant for piano are physically injured and can't play any more, and it nearly kills. them.   I don't think I would have enough guts to bear something like that.

Good heavens, I sound like such a solemn, pompous, conceited little fool.  Oh well.

For a bit I thought theatre or film might be my big thing.  It's one of the few things I'm interested in - though even then it's fairly superficial interest.  I think some of the happiest times in my life have been the bits where I was in plays or helping with them or making cruddy videos.  They may be insincere, but theatre people are some of the funnest kind you can find.  It's like summer camp - intense very quickly, and then you never write the promised letters.
But those are also some of the most painful times to look back on too.  I was so desperate to do well, so self-concious that it would almost make me sick.  My guts still lurch when I think about a show where - I was running the light board - I made a mistake and plunged the stage into darkness while a guy was saying the last line of the scene.   Gosh, I can still see the stage manager with her hands clapped over her mouth, just frozen with horror.  And all I did was jump the gun on a light cue during a crappy community college show!   I get too wired by it all.  I honestly think that if I tried to get into theatre now, I would do so for the wrong reasons.

Blah blah! Who cares about all these feelings!  I'm turning this poor blog into my psychiatrist.

And I was telling myself I would write something short and snappy.

CONCLUSION: I will keep reading Madeleine L'Engle.  I think she is helping me with things, and making me think.  And if I'm just being fanciful about that, she is at least entertaining me very well.

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