Sunday, December 4, 2011

what words can do

You remember Uncle Roy on his knees, hammer in his hand, mouth full of nails--a man bending to do his work, calm at last, strangely grateful--a father humbled by hurt, building a ramp for his fifteen-year-old son's wheelchair. [...] He let the hammer speak: one word at a time, one word over and over.

Sweet Mary Mother of God slit the man's violet scar to slip her own bright heart inside him. She took his in return, pierced and still bleeding. Enough, she said. Let me love you. She's not afraid of grief. You think I don't know? Tulanie's pain has lifted Roy's rage out of him.

(from The Voice of the River, by Melanie Rae Thon)

(Roy is a veteran (Vietnam?) who was sent home after being wounded, and whose wife left him because of the anger he carried after his experience; his son, Tulanie, was paralyzed waist-down in an accident.)

This novel is half fiction, half poetry. I was a little scared to read it, after In This Light, which was often too dark and gritty for my tastes.

Not that I can't read fiction that acknowledges darkness; not that I need happy endings. But I want to feel that I am seeing the darkness of what's human and broken as God sees it: not through eyes of despair or resignation, but redemption. And this book ... this book. I wish I could write it.

No comments:

Post a Comment