Monday, February 9, 2009

What Matters Most?

For those of you that haven't read
the book entitled "The Road" by
Cormac McCarthy,
I suggest that you put that on
your list of books to read this year.

Once again, my copy was a Goodwill find-
smashed between old college text books
and paperback romances,
"The Road" cost me a dollar fifty-
but yet provided me with
immeasurable emotions.

It is written strangely.
There's not a quotation mark
in the entire book.
But after the first few pages,
it starts to grow on you-
and by the time you're halfway through,
the words have taken root in your heart
and you don't want it to end.

It's the story of a man and his son
and their journey across a devastated country-
(war? meteor? bomb?- we're never told.)
But it is a tale
of their enduring faith
and strength and love for one another.

The book made me stop and realize
what is really important in life.
When it came down to a worldly catastrophe-
would that new car- flat screen TV-
closet full of clothes- or new home
really matter?
The agony they suffer just to find food
and shelter is a scary prospect.

The two make shoes out of old coats and pieces of tarp-
eat dirty snow and scavenge through
the remains of obliterated houses and stores
just to find an old tin of beans
or a few grains of rice to eat.

They have no need for money or gold-
credit cards or expensive items.
I could almost picture this haunting description:
"By day the banished sun circles the earth like a grieving mother with a lamp"...

..."The soft black talc blew through the streets like squid ink uncoiling along a sea floor and the cold crept down and the dark came early
and the scavengers passing down
the steep canyons
with their torches trod
silky holes in the drifted ash
that closed behind
them silently as eyes"....

Maybe this book isn't for everyone.
But it will be one that I'll keep.

Once in a great while you discover a book
that you put up on the shelf-
not because you plan to read it again someday-
but because it made your eyes see clearer
and it stole just a little
part of your soul.