Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Tortilla Curtain, T.C.Boyle

I just finished a good book:  The Tortilla Curtain.  Like, literally I JUST finished it, for book club tonight, and thought I'd write a few thoughts while it's still fresh and before my girls wake up . . .

Summary:  can't find it, no time girls are awake . . . general subject has to do with illegal immigrants 

So this is the thought I'm left with:  the whole world hangs by the thread of mercy.  God's mercy, yes, but I'm speaking of human mercy.  And mercy is a choice, it's unnatural, it can only flow out of basic respect for one another, a common acknowledgment of the greatness, the god-image, in every person.  Understanding one another, our pain, our deepest needs, our deepest fears . . . extending faith where understanding gaps . . .  believing that every one of the us six billion people have aches and hopes and loves that take our breath away, that we're all meeting here, on this planet, at this point in time in the universe, with the same startled cry, all still wondering what it's all about, searching for comfort and love and then meaning in the midst of it . . . . Mercy so easily denied, so quickly quenched when our comforts are threatened, when we don't understand and don't try to.  Understanding, this is the thing.  This is why we all need to read more, and ask more questions.  Understanding must continue, it has to be cultivated or mercy dies; judgment and fear reign.  How fragile are our societies, our civilizations . . . we only live together, we only survive so long as mercy survives.

The book ends with a mother and father and newborn child . . . we are all at our deepest core as primal and divine as this.  This is the reason why we must to make room for one another, offer shade to one another . . . .  

4 comments:

Heather of the EO said...

I just absolutely love the way you articulate things from your heart. I love this post. Love it. I want to share it with other people and I hope it's okay with you if I do. If not, email me and say STOP, DON'T do it!!! And then I won't. :)

Ruth said...

Great stuff, Jess. I have this book on my shelf but haven't read it yet - now I'll have to!

Bridget De said...

It's a great read.

charrette said...

Beautiful insights you took away from this book! I love the way you think...and write!

My husband studied with TC Boyle at USC and we have been fans of his writing ever since. I haven't read this yet, but will definitely pick it up now. Thanks!