Tuesday, September 09, 2008
The i key on my computer is sticking and I'm brain dead from a very long work day, so no real words of wisdom tonight. I am finishing Falling Man, a novel by Don Delillo in honor of the September 11 anniversary - striking book of memory, the way it is lost and found again, the many ways living through horrors changes people and relationships. This book takes many points of view - mostly of a man who walked out of the towers, his wife (with whom he was having marital difficulties before the attack) and his young son, who scans the sky for more planes. It also (very disturbingly for me) explores the inner life of one of the terrorists before the attack - his humanness, his pain, and his very threatening beliefs. The language is beautiful throughout and the psychology rings true. The tone is reflective and sad, but not without warmth and love. It's a book about after - after the worst has happened - after the turning point. It makes me think about the "afters" in my own life - the new chapters after innocence, or a love, or a way of being in the world has been lost. Most afters are small scale - personal. The after regarding the September 11 attacks was so much bigger. The author does a good job of letting it be big and personal at the same time. Literature of power is such a gift. I go to bed tonight thankful for story tellers and their courage to tell our stories.