So over the past couple of weeks I have been reading some fiction, which is something I rarely do, and I have to say that I am really enjoying it. Most of my reading has been comprised of theological, spiritual, and historical works, with some sociology and biography in the mix. But what intrigues me about fiction is its ability to capture truths that are not as easy to translate in nonfiction. I love music, film, and most visual arts, and the thing that draws me to each of them is the ability of the medium to reveal something very true and deeply profound about myself, others, the human experience overall, and God.
I read Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea and I am moved by how far and for how long this man was willing to go to capture a fish, and I feel the anguish he feels as his fish deteriorates in the ocean upon his return to Havana. As I read through My Name is Asher Lev, I realize that at times I have hidden my artistic creativity because I am scared that it might in fact be something that doesn’t really matter. As I view the world through Scout’s eyes in To Kill a Mockingbird, I return to that sense of mystery and awe that is abundant in every child, and in studying the character of Atticus Finch I remember that to do the right thing can cost very much.
I forgot how important story is, not just to fiction, but also to nonfiction, to all of us in our reality.