Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Last night Melissa and I decided to go on our first run of the semester. We made a goal to go in the morning before reading our scriptures, getting ready, and making it to an 8 am class...thus far we have failed slightly miserably. However, to make up for complaicency, we ran last night instead (and plan on doing the same tonight). We knew it would be windy, and maybe we would get caught in a light drizzle. But it seemed like the clouds were waiting patiently for us to go outside before unleashing their full fury.

It was an incredible run. The rain came down harder than I can remember all summer. Our faces met the large drops with a smile and our feet were greeted by puddles. I loved the feeling of it dripping down my cheeks and off my chin, splashing all the while. My hair slapped as it swooshed back and forth to my pace. My gait seemed to be weighed down by the puddle-wonderful water, but the heaviness only added to the adventure of our dark, stormy, night-time run.

About half way through Melissa started telling me about thoughts she had had in English that day, about the human spirit and it's unconquerable nature. It only seemed fitting to me that we were discussing this while bounding through ankle deep puddles and blindly running through rain so thick it hindered our sight. She noted that in literature, all the stories are so fantastic in an implausible, fanciful way. The drama ranks above that of normal, everyday life, and the seemingly life-threatening or self-difining decisions encountered by our fictional heros appear to be almost ostentatious. She asked me why I thought this was. I came a few conclusions.

The first is that stories about everyday things wouldn't make for much of a story at all. Only the extraordinary and the terrible make it into the books for reasons of sheer enjoyment. But this answer seemed superficial and too perfunctory. So we talked together and then I stumbled upon my second conclusion.

Literature, not intended soley for the purpose of entertainment, is a glimpse into the human spirit. Authors put characters in situations that seem unreal to test this human spirit, this unconquerable mighty force. Literature expands the bounds of what we are capable of and teaches us that there is so much more that we can do than ever imagined. The human spirit is something that resides in each person individually, but is enhanced by the strength of the power around it. It lives. It grows in hardships and learns, slowly, to believe in itself. The human spirit can be stretched, beaten, buried, and burned, but will continue to fight until the bitterest of ends. This is why characters are placed where they are in novels and why they fight how hard they do. They teach us vicariously that we too, if called upon, could do something equally as great because we all come from the same Creator and each has within us, a measure of His greatness.

Let the rain come. Let it beat upon my face and back, weigh my clothes down, and dampen my shoes. Let the storm ravage my skin and impede my sight. Let it try and scare me. The cracks of thunder and flashes of light only serve to enliven my senses and my spirit. Bring on the storm.

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