Monday, July 13, 2009

The Haunting Past: A Reflection


Frank McCourt is easily one of my most favorite writers of the century. When my sister lent me his book Angela's Ashes, I read a few lines and was instantly hooked. I was torn by his boyhood accounts in Limerick, Ireland, before, by some Irish luck and a twist of fate, he gained passage back to America where he was born. I cannot forget his intrepid descriptions of the squalor, the family's struggles with his father's alcoholism, his baby twin brothers' deaths (one twin would look outside the window calling out and waiting for the other, until later, he, too, succumbed to the damp, lack of sanitation, poor, extremely poor surroundings). Angela was FM's mother. A book of inspiration and inner strength...

I am now reading his third book, Teacher Man, which chronicles his 30-year travail as an English teacher in New York. Extraordinarily candid, with a propensity for talking back to superiors, he was not the typical teacher wanting to just get on with it and keep the job. A firm believer in education not just about getting high test scores, but making one think, this Pulitzer prize-winning writer pays tribute to all teachers who put a hundred and one percent effort in their profession. A definite read for all teachers and everyone...

At the same time, I am also brushing up on history and finishing a book called Nazi Hunter. Last week, there was report of another Nazi arrest (which prompted me to do this reading). I am sure that at one time or another, you must have read, or seen a movie or two about this atrocious part of WWII, as I have, but this one is not just a must-read for the curious, but for one who wants to pay tribute to a race that had been so wronged, and to acknowledge the brave men and women (or their memories) who have risked life and limb to save humanity. (An example of the not-so-written about tortures: the brutal experiments done by Dr. Mengele, one of which was injecting dyes in the eyes of children to see if they would change colors, while they were alive.)

I'm sorry for this sad (and gory) post. I just feel that sometimes, we do need a shock treatment to remind us of how much better off we are in this day and age despite our own situations. A reminder of how short life is and how, as one of my friends puts it, we shouldn't be a cross to others, as life is hard enough as it is.

Just a reflection, my friends...have a good one. God bless!

12 comments:

RheyBenz said...

No comment at this time. Later I do. Sorry madi Che. hahahaha. Just love looking at your posted pics. Wonderful! time flies..the kiddies has growned up. Best regards.

cherie said...

sus, mayad ngani kay nakaabot ka didi, haha! thanks for the nice words - yes, the boys have grown, as i am sure elysse and ethan have. regards to elma!

Droomvla said...

AKo ngani, nagparahaya san gin basa ko ini na libro. hahahaha

cherie said...

ay grabe an urangak ko...thank you, tabi, maris, san pagbisita....

betchai said...

i will take note of that book Teacher Man Che, thanks for sharing.

You are very right, life is hard as it is, so we shouldn't be a cross for others.

doroastig said...

for me, life is easy if we think it is.

kulasa said...

agree with you sis on us being lucky in this time in history....at least we are not in a war era and everything though not perfectly bliss is at least in order...if i were to be able to go back in time, and that first part in the Bible could really have existed, not that i doubt it but there are a lot of many other religions blah blah, i'd choose to be Eve and not tempt Adan so everything and everyone will be as good as God planned...on the helpless victims of atrocities...i hope my prayers reach their souls...i sometimes have this nagging fear that something bad could happen in our lifetime because our ancestors went through one...my dad calls me prophet of doom because of such thought he he he...i fervently hope and pray, history does not repeat itself because i fear for all the children and the children in us all...as always, i love your thoughts sis Che and got carried away he he he...gosh, my hubby is back, have to close the PC na he he he...

cherie said...

kung may kopya lang ako, ipapadala ko sayo ang isa...thank you, beth.

cherie said...

manoy d, you remind me of another very compelling story, it is really all in the mind. thank you po.

cherie said...

ditto, zen, on fear for all the children, and everything else you said. God save us...

Icy BC said...

A great list for reading! I have only read Angela's Ashes..I love the book!

Thanks for stopping by my blog, and I love that you'd stop by from time to time..

cherie said...

oh great, IcyBC, and did you hear that Frank McCourt died yesterday? what a gem of a man....

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