Wednesday, March 17, 2010

On The Joy Luck Club

It's a little startling to see yourself in the pages of a novel, in the characters of someone else's mind and past, in Chinese women. It's interesting to use their wisdom at this very point in life, when it's most needed.

It reminds you that things aren't left up to chance, but (things, memories, thoughts, wisdom) brought to you at very precise moments.

It's a little comforting to read about the character who pronounces her worth, secretly to herself, at such a young age and then orchestrates a way in which to leave a circumstance that daily diminishes that worth in order to openly display how valuable she is.

It's difficult to read aloud in class with teenagers the tragedies and difficulties the characters face and see, remember your own.

To exist outside of oneself.

It's difficult, challenging, comforting, shocking to exist outside of oneself
and to want move past the difficulties quickly and to understand that God is in the members of that joy luck club that everyone so desperately needs to move on in this journey.

1 comment:

  1. I think your experience with The Joy Luck Club also reflects what it means to be post-race. I've listened to pundits play with the term and I'm always suspicious that we don't all agree with the term's definition. To think that we've entered a period where we're moving beyond race is hard to believe. For me, your encounter of self in the Chinese women of the club is a post-race moment. When an author or reader can articulate / relate to something else through the particular lens of race, we've moved beyond race (or had a post-race experience). Post-race: "To exist outside of oneself." To exist oustide one (aspect) of one's identity.

    And I believe you're right. Those moments when we can see an existence outside of self are surely spiritual.