Monday, November 22, 2010

The Kite Runner...sigh...

There is so much to comment on about this book. Everything from how sad I am to realize that I know so little and I am so ignorant and naive about Afghanistan pre-twin towers in America (and let’s face it, so ignorant about the after also). To how thankful I am for my family and for the fact that I was born to the family and country I was born to. To how millions of miles away (okay, maybe thousands..again with the ignorance) there are things going on that are not fair. I know that there are things going on here too that are simply not fair. But I am talking more about the kind of not fair that includes hazaras (servants), ethnic cleansing, the Taliban, exiles and refugees, and many more not fairs than "it is so not fair that my car broke down last week" or “it is not fair that I waited until too close to Thanksgiving and now the reams egg noodles are all out at WalMart” type of not fairs.

So I have so much to say about this book and my love for this book and the things it made me think about. As promised, I finished it this sleeping for five hours each night. It was that good and haunting. This is the week of Thanksgiving, my grandpa's birthday, and my grandparent’s anniversary. All things that go nicely with this book and my realizations from reading this book. Family, love, thankfulness, blessings, true friendships, and knowledge. What a perfect time to read this book. Step aside John Steinbeck. Let's read this book this holiday time and then talk about what we are thankful for.

So, today I am thankful for a horribly upsetting book that reminded me just how much I am thankful for. The only thing that makes me feel worse about not being thankful for my blessings every single day, is that I had to be reminded of how blessed I am from a book that is true. That I had to re-learn this again and again because of someone else’s misery. That this book is a true enough story that the horrifying events in it are not only real, but recent. I hate having to be reminded how lucky I am because I learn how miserable others are.

In my little mind, I have put things like the events in this book in a “lessons learned” type of box. I pretend that women and children are not sold as sex slaves all over this world, that children have not seen their mother and father shot in the street in front of their houses and now are orphans, and that a woman is not stoned to death at the halftime show of a soccer game. I mean, this is 2010. This stuff does not happen.

So I naively pretend, until being reminded otherwise as this book did, that the most unfair thing that happened today was that I had to buy a different brand of noodles to take to my family Thanksgiving. A Thanksgiving dinner that will be filled with laughter to the point I can’t breathe, free speech about God and His blessings, more food than many children have ever seen in their lives, some time off from a perfect job that I love, and I will buy things from a store…with money I earned from working hard, but not harder than some...that I drove to in my car… and prepared in a warm home that I own…to get ready for all of this joy.

I have to take a minute to point out that I think you need to read this book and promise I will not say that about every book we talk about. And I think you need to accept that this is real. And that I think you have to feel it for yourself. And you have to address parts of it and be sorry that you didn’t know and haven’t done anything to help. And you have to accept that you didn’t mean for this stuff to happen for someone, and forgive yourself. The same way I wanted to ask Amir to ask for forgiveness and then forgive himself. To remind him that he didn’t mean for any of it to happen. That he might not have been able to stop it, or that he would have done it all so differently if he could go back. That he was young. And that, a thousand times over, he is forgiven not because he is good, but because of grace.

Oh, and, that I agree with you, Amir: clichés are clichés for a reason.

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