At the top of my dream guest list for our soirée tonight is Flannery O'Connor, who would be followed by Shakespeare, William Faulkner, Tim O'Brien, and Cormac McCarthy because they all understand that goodness must be earned and understood, even while the desire for power swirls around us in pools of easy temptation. Flannery O'Connor's quote (along with several from Macbeth and King Lear) is the one clanging in my head today: "There is something in us, as storytellers and listeners to stories, that demands the redemptive act, that demands that what falls at least be offered the chance to be restored. The reader of today looks for this motion, and rightly so, but what he has forgotten is the cost of it. His sense evil is diluted or lacking altogether and so he has forgotten the price of restoration. When he reads a novel, he wants either his senses tormented or his spirits raised. He wants to be transported, instantly, either to a mock damnation or a mock innocence" ("The Serious Writer and the Tired Reader"). Even if the characters cannot be redeemed, here's hoping that the audience's motivation to find real redemption will be re-kindled. I know mine has.
Here I am in all my yellow banana glory, cooking our Pollos.
I am absolutely giddy over the prospect that all art (even well-done TV shows and movies, which are unfortunately rare) should follow Faulkner's model of confronting "the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat" (Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech).
For anyone who cares, Faulkner goes on to say, "He must learn them again. He must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid; and, teaching himself that, forget it forever, leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart, the old universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed - love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice. Until he does so, he labors under a curse. He writes not of love but of lust, of defeats in which nobody loses anything of value, of victories without hope and, worst of all, without pity or compassion. His griefs grieve on no universal bones, leaving no scars. He writes not of the heart but of the glands." KA-POW!!!
Now I need to get back to cooking.