Monday, June 21, 2010

What can really be said?

I was driving down I-5 to Bakersfield when I heard that Jose Saramago had died. My good friend Bruce called and he had to repeat himself a few times before I understood who he was talking about. Then I dealt with my family for three days. Then I drove home. Then a bunch more life stuff happened.

I almost feel like my actions don't really convey the magnitude of the sorrow that I feel that an old man that I never knew died. I even feel a little pretentious at publicly talking about it, but damned if it hasn't hit me now that my world has stopped moving long enough for me to really think about it. I kind of lived in one of Saramago's books for a couple years as I made it the partial subject of my MA thesis, and it had a profound effect on my view of the world. Saramago described himself as a pessimist, but I think the message of so much of his work is that life has to happen even when horror is not far away. We live in an absurd world, where justice, fairness, and kindness are rare and fleeting, and that is why these things matter. Nothing lasts, not even suffering.