Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The family

I'm reading Don DeLillo's book, White Noise, and love his writing, the way he describes people, events, thoughts, with original imagery while always digging deeper at the meaning of everything in life. I'm quoting a few words he puts in the mouth of a professor who spews out ideas continuously, and reminds me of manic, neurotic Woody Allen.

"The family process works toward sealing off the world. Small errors grow heads, fiction proliferate … Not to know is a weapon of survival ... Magic and supersitition become entrenched as the powerful orthodoxy of the clan. The family is strongest where objective reality is most likely to be misinterpreted." Don DeLillo - White Noise

I see an element of lucidity in this comment which at first seems distorted. It makes one certainly ponder about the family unit, about how it's gong to survive in this century. It's already moved from the extended to the nuclear family. And now we hear of families as dysfunctional, and divorcing, splitting into even smaller units while raising children in a creative array of domestic combinations. Does the strong family unit really create its own limited world, and promote ignorance to survive in this increasingly knowledge-bound world? I think it's a bit over-simplified but there's something there worth thinking about.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A new year of hope

A brand new year in which I hope dreams are not just dreams, that they will materialize when fed with enough passion, focus, and hard work.

I woke up this morning to a winter wonderland. A fresh white coating of snow, like a breath of hope. Everything seems possible when surrounded by such beauty. It makes me generous, forgiving of those who have left an indelible hurt in me. I want to remember only the good times. I want to swirl with the snow, dance, and let myself drift away like snowflakes falling softly on branches.

We do need as much comfort as we can get from nature. A quick scan of newspapers informs us that our city's lack of cash is having a negative impact on its infrastructure, that our country isn't doing enough to help the poor, that U.S. economy is taking a dive and pulling us on its way down, that war-torn countries are doomed to more violence, that our planet is self-destructing –– enough bad news to get one severely depressed. I go to the entertainment/ book review section to cheer up and celebrate the positive accomplishments of artists and writers. It's not always possible to take an active role in saving the world, but there's always hope when we let nature guide us and give a little love here and there to better things in our immediate surroundings.

I don't know how I get into this heavy stuff. Let's lighten up with some Québécois humour. Here's a video from Têtes à Claques to wish you Happy New Year. For those who don't speak French, sorry, but I hope it'll be an incentive to learn it. Have a good laugh. Je vous souhaite à tous une belle année remplie de belles surprises.