“Just go to bed!” your father said, a voice over a mound of a body muffled under covers in the bed. It was 11:30 last night. The room was pitch black except for an eerie purplish miniature light I was shining over my kindle, like something you’d expect a dentist to use, the older, geekier version of a child with a flashlight.
“I can’t…” I whispered.
As bone tired as I was after our busy weekend–birthday parties, carnivals, concerts, the City, the beach, oh my!–I couldn’t sleep. I was mid-way through the second book of “The Hunger Games.” It’s all I’ve been thinking about since I saw the movie of the first book Saturday night.
Why do books and stories and, essentially, these things that aren’t REAL have such a hold over us?
Why do I care so much about what happens to Katniss and Gale and the people of Panem? I have my own boy and girl to feed and worry about. I have my own world to keep safe. I watched the telling of the Osama Bin Laden capture story last night on “60 Minutes.” I watched the news and saw that a bomb has killed 160 people in Syria, it hit civilians, a kindergarten. Forget what will happen to the people of Panem, what will happen us, the people of our world, a place that can be just as scary?
Yesterday afternoon at a concert at the beach a soul band was really wailing. They’d just gone from “To Be Real” to “I Will Survive” and the crowd was literally jumping. Then they slowed down, and a man in a white suit stepped forward. And he began to sing a darn good rendition of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.”
I was at the shoreline with you two. Your father was up by the stage guarding the stroller: “I saw a woman sizing it up,” he said, “I don’t trust leaving it!” (This was part your father being your father, part another sad truth about our world, that people steal, that we have to guard our possessions, MINE.)
You guys were throwing rocks into the water. The sun was warm in it’s five o’clock amber glow. Your little heads were golden. I reached down and petted them.
“I see trees of green…red roses too…I see em bloom…for me and you…And I think to myself…what a wonderful world”
And those words, too, like a poem, had such a hold over me. They made me think of my grandfather and the last days of his life he lived out in a hospital. I remembered sitting in the front seat of Nanny’s car next to her driving home from one of our visits, one of the last times I saw him alive. And my head was cocked resting on the glass window and I was looking up at the sky whizzing by trying not to think about the atrocities, that sad real-life stuff, I’d just seen. It such a terrible day. Yet it was such a beautiful day. The sky was blue peppered with cotton ball clouds. Suddenly that song came on Nanny’s AM radio: “And I think to myself what a wonderful world…” as tears flowed from my eyes…
We read books. We watch movies. We hear songs. We feel. We awaken. We remember. We heal. We learn. We are inspired to try.
Now sleep today, my dear babies, I must find out what happens with the uprising.