I hoped no one would say it but someone did declare that God is punishing the Japanese. There has to be a group of people who are getting God’s messages on their Facebook pages or maybe they come in tweets. Did individuals in direct contact with God ever look around and see that misfortune doesn’t always correlate with bad behavior or vice versa?
I can’t believe God sticks a finger through the clouds and says, let’s get Tom, Dick, or Harry because they don’t go to church on Sunday, or I never liked Haiti, New Zealand, or Japan so I’m going to make everyone living there suffer beyond what they can imagine.
Recently, I saw a TV miniseries, Any Human Heart. A man is imprisoned in a foreign country during WWII. When he’s finally released, he finds out the war is over and, in one of his wife’s last letters, that she is expecting their second child. He rushes home only to find out his wife, daughter, and unborn child were killed by a bomb. The man spends the rest of his life looking, subconsciously, for his lost children, and he can’t stop comparing other women with his dead wife.
How many young Japanese parents dreamed of helping their children reach their full potential and now can no longer hold onto that dream? So many citizens experienced overwhelming loss. Securities they took for granted vanished in an instant.
And all that is part of a Divine plan? More and more I believe man made God in his image rather than the other way around.
I understand that a fictional character who battles against odds to solve a crime and restore harmony to a fictional world through justice produces a satisfactory story. I enjoy such stories. However, stories that include the unforeseen, the reversals of fortune that most of us suffer, and a protagonist who has to reassess his goals and even accept what he doesn’t want stay with me longer.
9/11 changed the way I see the world. Now, Japan seems closer to my daily life. I’ve often wondered what my life would have been like if I’d been born in an African village, in China, or in Tibet.
Perhaps there are readers and writers who see fiction as something totally apart from reality. A writer who focuses on the market might see fiction differently from a person who writes what moves him. A hundred years ago, it was possible for a writer to sit in his or her room and write about society. Maybe there are writers like that today but I’m not aware of their books.
Does the shrinking world change the way you write?