Thursday, November 12, 2009

a conscious is worth a thousand witnesses...

i love the way beth gutcheon writes. it’s clean and simple, and subtly knocks your sox right off... but in a wholly satisfying way.

i grabbed more than you know off of a display because of the cover, checked it out because of it being set in maine, and loved it so much that i went to and bought all of her books that i could get my hands on. she is gem that has maybe yet to be noticed and appreciated! now, if i could get my hands on the one i lent out…

saying grace is centered around a private day school in california. it’s a progressive school, as you might have guessed, and the head of the school is rue. she’s open-minded, she’s fair, and she’s kind to those around her—and she expects the same from those she leads, works for, and teaches. and of course, few people often play by those rules. one memoriable passage is where rue is trying to teach a class about the golden rule and the meaning of the maxim: a conscious is worth a thousand witnesses...

how many people actually live by that rule? or how many rather live by: it’s only bad if you get caught! the real punishment comes from failing to squeak under the radar, not from the crime. it's an interesting thought, because how do you teach your kids to be decent people when the people--the world--around them doesn’t play by the same rules as you’re teaching?

well, you hope there are people like rue in the world. her ways may not be the popular way, but when rue is pushed into a corner, and everything starts to crumble—her school, her marriage and her family—she scrambles and claws for the “top,” hoping to rise above and keep everyone afloat with her. and then her buoy, her closest confidante, her love walks away—to his new confidante, a new love? she gracefully bows out. but in doing so, she doesn't then turn her back on her beliefs because it feels better, nor does she throw barbs to hurt those who hurt her.

this a nice reminder to be good people. because try as we might we don’t always treat each other as we would like to be treated. we get caught up in what makes us feel good at the moment, not considering other people in the process. i don’t know if that makes us bad, misguided mayhaps. at some point, we all turn to the wrong person, put faith in the wrong people and eventually get hurt... and then wish things could change back to how they used to be. and yet, saying grace shows us that things do turn around with enough patience. i’m not sure in real life that’s the case… but maybe.
happy reading!

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