Adventus

"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Again, Dangerous Visions


I pulled a 50 year old book off my shelf (which sounds romantic:  dusty leather bound volumes of ancient wisdom.  Nope.  The one in the picture.  Paperback.  Science fiction.  1967, so I'm fudging a bit on the age, even.), something I do from time to time for night-time reading:  re-read something so old I've forgotten most of it.

And I had certainly forgotten this, in the author's note at the end of the story (I still love anthologies like that; too bad they are so few and far between).  The story is about a dystopian future which ends with a son killing his mother (who has run desperately from danger to home, where she will be safe) because his wife and children need to eat, and she is fresh meat.  The note isn't that long, and context matters, so:

Perhaps I wrote the story because sometimes that's the way the world seems, or perhaps I hope that when my daughter's generation grows up [which they have by now; it's been nearly 50 years, as I said] it won't need or want to run for its life, or perhaps because, in the seventeenth century, Jeremy Taylor wrote:  "...when it is enquired whether such a person be a good man or no, the meaning is not what does he believe or what does he hope, but what he loves."  Amen.

Or, as I've had occasion to put it before:

Ideas don't matter. Things don't matter. People matter.

Hope comes from such unexpected places; wisdom is often found hiding where you least expect it.

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