Posts tagged a fine balance.
You have to maintain a fine balance between hope and despair. Yes, in the end, it’s all a question of balance.
- Proofreader: I'm not denying that I often felt like weeping at what I read--stories of misery, caste violence, government callousness, official arrogance, police brutality. I'm certain many of us felt that way, and an emotional outburst would be quite normal. But too long a sacrifice can make a stone of the heart, as my favorite poet has written.
- Maneck: Who's that?
- Proofreader: W.B. Yeats. And I think that sometimes normal behaviour has to be suppressed, in order to carry on.
- Maneck: I'm not sure. Wouldn't it be better to respond honestly instead of hiding it? Maybe if everyone in the country was angry or upset, it might change things, force the politicians to behave properly.
- Proofreader: In theory, yes, I would agree with you. But in practce, it might lead to the onset of more major disasters. Just try to imagine six hundred million raging, howling, sobbing humans. Everyone in the country--including airplane pilots, engine drivers, bus and tram conductors--all losing control of themselves. What a catastrophe. Aeroplanes falling from the skies, trains going off the tracks, boats sinking, buses and lorries and cars crashing. Chaos. Complete chaos. And please also remember: scientists haven't done any research on the effects of mass hysteria and mass suicide upon the enrivonment. Not on this subcontinental scale. If a butterfly's wings can create atmospheric disturbances halfway round the world, who knows what might happen in our case. Storms? Cyclones? Tidal waves? What about the land mass, would it quake in empathy? Would the mountains explode? What about rivers, would the tears from twelve hundred million eyes cause them to rise and flood?
There was no place of escape. Not for himself, at any rate. His dreams had succumbed, as they must, during their collisions with the passing years. He had struggled, he had won, he had lost. He would keep on struggling—what else was there for him?
The entire scene was so mean and squalid by twilight, so utterly beyond his ability to accept or comprehend. He felt lost and frightened. Waves of anger, compassoin, disgust, sorrow, failure, betrayal, love—surged and crashed, battering and confusing him. For what? Of whom? Why was it? If only he could….
But he could make no sense of his emotions. He felt a tightness in his chest, then his throat constricted as if he were choking. He wept helplessly, silently.
He had learned that dignity could not be acquired from accoutrements and accessories; it came unasked, it grew from one’s ability to endure.
Flirting with madness was one thing; when madness started flirting back, it was time to call the whole thing off.
The future was becoming past, everything vanished into the void, and reaching back to grasp for something, one came out clutching—what? A bit of string, scraps of cloth, shadows of the golden time. If one could only reverse it, turn the past into the future, and catch it on the wing, on its journey across the always shifting line of the present… .
Where humans were concerned, the only emotion that made sense was wonder, at their ability to endure; and sorrow, for the hopelessness of it all.
How they glowed, thought Maneck—live creatures breathing and pulsating. Starting small, with modest heat, then growing to powerful red incandesence, spitting and snapping, their tongues of flame crackling, all heat and passion, transforming, threatening, devouring. And then—the subsidence. Into mellow warmth, compliance, and, finally, a perfect stillness… .
i read a lot of books and i cry a lot, mostly both because i have too many feelings and because i’m a teenage girl, but want to know something weird? i rarely read books and cry over them. lately i haven’t, at least.
i just did. a lot. it’s called “a fine balance” by rohinton minstry. it made me sob and sob and want to cover myself up with my blanket and sob and be alone and forever mourn life as it used to be.
it’s still making me want to.