My apologies for a later-in-the-morning post today. I just this moment left that chair after reading straight through from 7 a.m. until 10 a.m. in order to finish one of the most extraordinary books I’ve ever read, All The Light We Cannot See. I am shaken by its beauty, by the profound truths revealed on its pages, by the stunning way in which the author weaves together the lives of the main characters, all with the most beautiful use of language I have been privileged to witness in a long time.
I’m late getting to this book and I know a lot of you have read it already. Since it takes place during WWII, in France and Germany and Poland and Russia, a time when an insane dictator managed to brainwash millions, when his intolerance manifested itself in the death of millions – you can only imagine how much it resonated with me, on so many levels. Everything I read lately seems to be a reminder of what intolerance, egomania, paranoia and fear can bring about if not stopped in its tracks. I, like most everyone read 1984 years and years ago. I eventually acted in a ground-breaking multimedia production of that story at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia and at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Because of that, I know it like the back of my hand. It has been in my mind constantly, as I see George Orwell’s visions come to life. Even down to the use of ‘doublespeak.’
But, back to the book. If you haven’t read it, please consider doing so. For above all, it is a story about the goodness that lies in each of us, about redemption, about beauty, about light, about life, about love and devotion. And that, more than anything, is what I want to remember right now. It’s what will win in the end.
Oh my goodness, what a story! What an extraordinary writer Anthony Doerr is.
Books are saving my sanity right now. Are they doing the same for you? I am a fighter and am doing all I can. But there has to be a time during the day when I can lose myself in the words on the page of a compelling story. Where I allow myself to escape to somewhere else. Where I can feel refreshed, renewed and reenergized. And, in the case of this book, reminded.
This is what I believe we stand for:
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name,
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus
Those elected representatives who do not speak out against this executive order on refugees will be nothing less than collaborators.