Post copyright Doris McCraw
Writers write about the human condition. We tell stories about falling in love, solving mysteries and defeating evil. Still at the heart of every story is the joys and sorrows of our heroes and heroines. Each person tells the story as they know it, but where do we turn when we want to understand the condition? For myself, it is some of the old and new classics.
Who doesn’t respond to the speech in Shakespeare’s Macbeth:
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
The Helen (Hunt) Jackson poem Two Truths speaks of the dichotomy of love
Darling,’ he said, ‘I never meant
To hurt you;’ and his eyes were wet.
‘I would not hurt you for the world:
Am I to blame if I forget?’
‘Forgive my selfish tears!’ she cried,
‘Forgive! I knew that it was not
Because you meant to hurt me, sweet-
I knew it was that you forgot!’
But all the same, deep in her heart
Rankled this thought, and rankles yet,-
‘When love is at its best, one loves
So much that he cannot forget.’
For the sheer pleasure of reading and hearing life stories about the human condition, you have only to read Edgar Lee Masters “Spoon River Anthology”. A classic when published in 1915. To me it still has the power to make me laugh, cry, and be angry. It tells the tales of a small town through the epitaphs of the inhabitants. http://spoonriveranthology.net/spoon/river/
Who hasn’t felt the pain of not being loved like Mabel Osborne as she says at the end of her story?
I who loved you, Spoon River,And craved your love, Withered before your eyes, Spoon River-- Thirsting, thirsting, Voiceless from chasteness of soul to ask you for love, You who knew and saw me perish before you, Like this geranium which someone has planted over me, And left to die.
Or the joy of living like Lucinda Matlock at the end of hers:
At ninety--six I had lived enough, that is all, And passed to a sweet repose. What is this I hear of sorrow and weariness, Anger, discontent and drooping hopes? Degenerate sons and daughters, Life is too strong for you-- It takes life to love Life.
Who inspires you? Who do you turn to when you want to delve into the human condition?
Until next time, here is to writing that gives us joy, teaches something and brings us together in a common understanding of what it is to be human.
HOME FOR HIS HEART by Doris McCraw writing as Angela Raines, available on:
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords
Follow my haiku post five days a week at: http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com
“Film & Photography on the Front Range” : the stories of the people who made film and photograph history on the Colorado Front Range. You can buy online at: http://www.amazon.com