do not know what comfort you have given me in the darkness.
My head is throbbing, spinning, and so light I figure it will lift off my shoulders before I finish this post!
But I owe each of you a bit of my heart which all of you have held in your cyber-hands these past days.
So I will finish this ... or it will finish me! :-)
I have been reading my own HER BONES ARE IN THE BADLANDS to see just what Erica and others who have bought it might be punished with as they read.
Towards the end, my hero, Samuel McCord, has just "won," making crying, grieving orphans in the process, and he reflects:
This was one of those times in a man’s life when the recognition of his limitations, his eventual death brings him to a high place in his thinking.
His life is spread out before him: the twists and turns of it, the "smart" choices that turned out to be anything but. The ordinary flow of his life stops, and he sees his existence as a whole.
He decides anew what truly gives life meaning and what takes away from a worthwhile life. It was a ritual of reckoning.
I have always believed that, no matter what Elu said, there was only one story in all the world.
Men are caught, in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their greed and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity, too, in a net of good and evil.
There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dirt and blood of his life, will have left only two hard questions: Was my life good or was it evil?
As I faced the thought of cancer and this surgery,
I have thought about what I have done with my life. Seeing my former young customer become my surgeon told me one decision at least had been a good seed.
Our choices determines the answer to Samuel's two questions. Your lives in reaching out and touching mine have been very good.
In another novel of mine, DEATH IN THE HOUSE OF LIFE, McCord has been led into a Cairo alley to be killed by his wife's aide, Hayato:
"My Empress loves you. I accept that lunacy. You make her weak. That is unacceptable now when so much rides upon her thinking clearly."
His falcon eyes studied me. "You and I are killers. It is our nature. The difference is that you fight yours. I accept mine."
Hayato said softly, "I live for my Empress. I see in your eyes that you would gladly die for her. I kill you, and I will die. No matter. If my Empress lives, I die happily."
He stared at the fiery dagger and then back to me. "The world will not miss either one of us. It will be cleaner for our deaths. You and I have done evil things."
"Evil things," he repeated softly, looking into the darkness within him.
I heard the four Ningyo approach me from behind closer and closer. The four Ningyo assassins ahead were doing the same. I was glad Ada and Churchill weren’t here.
Hayato looked up into the stars. "Good men. Evil men. I do not think they exist. I think that there are only good decisions and evil decisions."
He looked deep into my eyes. "What is the good decision here, McCord Pasha?"
The silence stretched long, long in the cold desert night.
Thank you all for making the good decision in regards to me and my crisis. I will leave you with an exchange with Samuel and his beloved Meilori:
Her wet eyes swallowed me. “How often, Samuel, have I seen you and not seen you? There you stand so filled with love for me. A kind of light spreads out from you. And everything changes color for me.
And a day becomes good to savor. And there are no limits to anything. And the humans of this world are suddenly tolerable.”
Her velvet voice thickened. “And I am not alone anymore.”
I could feel the sand beneath my boots again. My own eyes grew wet. The world became possible again. A great welling silence swept up the insides of the tent. All became my eyes for her and hers for me. We smiled. The others started breathing again.
Perhaps this was the treasure that Man sought the world over, never realizing it was in the heart of another who looked upon him with love. In this world where anguish and pain seemed to reign, where darkness swallows the light of innocents, perhaps clinging to what love we find is the only light we will ever have.
Thank you for sharing the light of your hearts with me these past days. Now, I have to rest this spinning, throbbing head a bit!!