Unwrapping a surprise

PUBblogphoto.sept 5

Have you had that experience when you’re reading and suddenly a line seems to jump out at you and stop you in your tracks?

That happened to me recently with the novel ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy.
Here’s the line:

“He’d been ready to die and now he wasn’t going to and he had to think about that.”

Both engaging and startling in its simplicity. But also somehow epic in meaning.

There was no way I could read any further, and pressed the proverbial pause button to recalibrate.

“He’d been ready to die and now he wasn’t going to and he had to think about that.”

An absolutely perfect sentence for the main character’s situation. (No spoilers here – you just HAVE to read the book!) But there was more to it than that. All kinds of ‘significance alert’ alarm bells were going off. Hinting at something just beyond the horizon, just beyond my mental reach.

Now, a few months later, I’d like to take a bit of time to start unwrapping it if I can. May be we won’t get further than the first layer. Let’s just see…

Utterly unexpected second chances can indeed take the wind out of our sails. We prepare for disappointment and decay, then suddenly we’re faced with the new reality of life. We thought we were going to disappear from the scene, but, no, we’re going to stick around for awhile yet.
This could have to do with the death of a relationship, which turns out not to be dying at all.
Or the apparent death of a talent or gifting, which suddenly emerges instead alive and kicking from the mess of a painful rebirth.

“He’d been ready to die and now he wasn’t going to and he had to think about that.”

If I trace the lines, squinting against the glare of a setting sun, determined to unwrap and see where this may lead, the ultimate meaning lies perhaps in the flip side of our reality, where we step into death and suddenly find ourselves in a garden, with life and possibilities beyond human measure.

… think about that.






photo: a balcony view

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