For several days until yesterday, I was tied to my computer like a baby's umbilical cord is to its mother. I did not socialize. I did not surf the internet. I did not log on to Facebook or Google+. In fact I even deleted the Facebook app from my smarter- than- me cellphone.
I was focused on helping a friend write a memorandum exposing irregularities in the solicitation and award of a bid for a road project. A monstrous darkness has imperceptibly crept into the community organization in which my friend and I were volunteers.
The darkness arrived camouflaged like wolf under sheep's clothing. Not long after its entry into the organization its tentacles were inching their way into the nooks and crannies of the group. Unnoticed by those who didn't know any better, the darkness spawned corruption one after another. Deception and viciousness had a field day. Hatred was so thick you could slice it with a knife.
Strangely, I both enjoyed and loathed writing for my friend. I loved exposing the anomalies and indicting the crooks, especially since big money was involved.
But I did not like how I felt in the course of writing the memo and learning about what happened. It was as if the very darkness had wormed itself into my heart. I was getting angry. I found myself thirsting for blood.
Looking back, I remember taking many showers and doing a lot of vigorous scrubbing as if in cleaning my body I could also purify my soul.
The darkness harvested the minds and souls of some people in the community organization. It was about to take mine when the Universe sent help. One lifeline was in the form of a Celebration of Life gathering. The other was a movie called The Book Thief.
Eleanor was in her 90s when she passed on. Although she was an artist and known in the community, I never met her. I was at her Celebration of Life gathering because she was the mother of my best friend's friend. An eulogy given during Eleanor's celebration of life gathering particularly struck me. One of Eleanor's granddaughters said that she will always remember her grandmother telling her to be conscious of the things and people around her, find the beauty in them, and create art.
The Book Thief was a deep mine of wisdom and an accurate commentary about the dual nature of man. The narrator never revealed his identity but for me he was Death itself. Death had many memorable lines in the movie. One of them was this.
- Posted with Aloha
By ARIEL MURPHY