Hmm... I just finished re-reading The Old Man and the Sea. How I love that book! It is very interesting to me that I always begin it with such a joyful, warm feeling, so excited to re-visit old friends and the sea through those eyes, that heart. As the story continues, I live and breathe the ocean. The desperation of the old gentleman is not yet my own struggle - I am there for the transition of words to dreams, a familiar, wonderful perch from which I consider the way he lives.
And then, before I even am aware, I must bring in that fish!
I am lonely as he sits and talks to himself, wishing for his friend, the boy. I cry as I consider his hands and shoulders. When he finds himself face plastered to the raw fish he was to have for a meal, ugh - I need a deep breath or two. The size of the great fish overwhelms me when we realize it is larger than the boat. I am captured again by the heart of the gentleman as he finds such wonder in the beauty and the power of the creature of his dreams (and his most present reality). So proud when the challenge is finally, finally met -- and then heartbroken as the illusion breaks with his strength and the sharks come. It astounds me every time! The sharks won? Bah! Weary and worn and quite angry, I skip back a few pages to make certain that I read it all correctly. I did. And then we have to find our way back home.
Sounds just depressing, yes? Why on earth ever read that a second, third, fourth.... time?
Because beaten and bruised, weary beyond all telling, crushed from dreams mixed with harsh reality, my dear old gentleman friend is home again. He is quite busy, you see, resting and dreaming of the lions on the beach ♥