Saturday, March 23, 2013

What I'm Reading Saturday

Just got back from the gym.  Finished Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood late last night.  Truthfully, more like early early this morning.  It wasn't the easiest book to read, because the topic dealt with cruelty to others.  I'd like to believe that everyone ultimately has good intentions, but I know that's not the case in "real life."  Even those we'd trust to have pure motives- politicians, police, administrators, professors, lawyers, and doctors- are capable of stunning cruelty.

But this book focused a lot on cruelty that masquerades as friendship.  It happens.  Those we trust simply know how to hurt us the most effectively.  In the book, Elaine becomes good friends with Cordelia.  That relationship shapes the rest of Elaine's life.  It had echoes of Oryx and Crake, which makes sense because of the same author.  Friendship is a risk, and one that always comes with a cost.

I'll get back to poems tomorrow, hopefully.  I wanted to write about the stars.  Or how to be a family across a continent.  Or even how to make each day different, new.  Because all of those topics are a bit of a struggle right now.  I feel like a rat trapped in a cage.  Or like Han, Luke, and Leia in the garbage compactor...Nerd Life.  I don't know how to get off the metaphorical and physical treadmill.

I'm starting to understand that truth is more complicated than what I've been told.  There are so many facets, and there's never just two sides to a story.  I do want more Margaret Atwood in my life though.


  1. I haven't read this book, but I am intrigued after reading your comments about it. Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. In my fine tradition of being the worst-read English teacher ever, I have to admit I've never read Atwood. I have been reading lots of young adult literature over the past couple of years, and the idea of cruelty comes up quite often.

    Still, I have a hard time believing people are cruel for the sake of being evil, though I'm sure some are. A friend used to tell me that "even our enemies just want to be happy." That's actually a simplification of an idea expressed by the Dalai Lama:

    "Compassion compels us to reach out to all living beings, including our so-called enemies, those people who upset or hurt us. Irrespective of what they do to you, if you remember that all beings like you are only trying to be happy, you will find it much easier to develop compassion towards them."

    I'm not a follower of Buddhism, but the idea of compassion in this way does speak to me.

    Thanks for this slice. It clearly made me think!

  3. I haven't read any Atwood since THE HANDMAID'S TALE. I remember that reading that book made me think for a long time afterwards. This title sounds like it would do the same thing. It sounds like a book I'd like to read over the summer. I'm not sure I can take that much deep thinking right now. My brain is already overloaded.