Monday, January 12, 2009

"Her Fingers Glided Over the Keyboard...

With such grace that even a ballerina would admire the choreography of her simple words."

Random, I know. I've been reading a new novel. For the first time since Mother's Day, I'm delved into a work of fiction. On Mather's Day I read The Bell Jar. It's an odd way to spend Mother's Day, for sure, to be immersed in the brain of a mentally and emotionally disturbed woman. And yet I enjoyed it, as I did The Catcher in the Rye. I'm not sure what it says about me, but since they're considered classics, I can't imagine that I'm a rare breed among readers. This gives me comfort.

So reading a novel causes me to mentally narrate my life. I'm so used to turning words into images, I end up turning images into words. The movie Dead Poets Society made me want to write poetry, something that I am incapable of. I may could write prose, but not poetry. The concepts of meter are simply beyond me. Iambic pentameter, what? I don't even enjoy reading most poetry, to be honest. I prefer a good novel.

The book that I'm reading is enjoyable, though the author took much more time studying Africa than the Baptist missionaries that serve it. The book (which I am not going to name because I'm afraid that if you read it, it may leave you with a false impression of mission work) tells the story of a missionary family in the Congo during a very temultuous time. The father is incapable of understanding the culture, and he believes that it is necassary to Americanize the Congolese in order to teach them of salvation. He also has a very inappropriate understanding of baptism. He's a horrible father, and a terrible human being in general.

Although I am sure that the story could read like an autobiography of some missionaries, I really wish that the author had studied other missionaries, like Lottie Moon. She died of starvation because she kept giving her food to the local children. Or Jim and Elizabeth Elliot. Or any number of others.

Well, I'm not finished with the book yet. It's harder to read when you have children. Unlike t.v., books require a decent amount of concentration. Since we have no television, we are limited in entertainment avenues, which led me to reading this book. It was recommended to me by a friend, and I'm glad it was. I like it, even if I do feel like chucking it at the wall at times (I don't act on such feelings, just so you know).

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