People are frightened of themselves. It’s like Freud saying that the best thing is to have no sensation at all, as if we’re supposed to live painlessly and unconsciously in the world. I have a much different view. The ancients are right: the dear old human experience is a singular, difficult, shadowed, brilliant experience that does not resolve into being comfortable in the world. The valley of the shadow is part of that, and you are depriving yourself if you do not experience what humankind has experienced, including doubt and sorrow. We experience pain and difficulty as failure instead of saying, I will pass through this, everyone I have ever admired has passed through this, music has come out of this, literature has come out of it. We should think of our humanity as a privilege.
Brave words from a brave woman. How many of us can muster the courage to face our own pain? Not to master it necessarily, but just to feel it and trust that we can survive?ReplyDelete
"The ancients are right: the dear old human experience is a singular, difficult, shadowed, brilliant experience that does not resolve into being comfortable in the world."ReplyDelete
Thank you for the link to that interview and that quote. It reminds me once again that Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King, Jr, and Rosa Parks, among others, like Marilynne Robinson, are Christians in the best sense of the word and that I can learn from their experience as Christians, despite the fact that I have no religious affiliation. If that quote speaks from the Christian tradition, I feel a kinship with Marilynne Robinson's experience of the Christian tradition.
I agree with that. Completely and unreservedly. Except, perhaps, for the last sentence; our humanity is not a privilege, it's simply unavoidable, a given, and we shouldn't try to avoid it.ReplyDelete
I don't know if one can pass though pain without fighting it. What about some of us who lack courage and will to fight?ReplyDelete