Monday, October 27, 2008

Empathy (Andre Dubus)

Today is the twenty-ninth of August 1988, and since the twenty-third of June, the second of two days when I wanted to die, I have not wanted my earthly life to end, have not wanted to confront You with anger and despair. I receive You in the Eucharist at daily Mass, and look at You on the cross, but mostly I watch the priest, and the old deacon, a widower, who brings me the Eucharist; and the people who walk past me to receive; and I know they have all endured their own agony, and prevailed in their own way, though not alone but drawing their hope and strength from those they love, those who love them; and from You, in the sometimes tactile, sometimes incomprehensible, sometimes seemingly lethal way that You give.


I love Andre Dubus' writing. Broken Vessels is one of my favorites, though better known for The House of Sand and Fog. Broken Vessels is a memoir of his experiences of loss and faith, resulting from an accident where he lost a leg and become wheelchair bound, the result of trying to help some accident victims. Then he lost his marriage and custody of his daughters. Through his struggles he asks God the hard questions but never loses faith. A good deep read. I have found lots of good stuff in his work.

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