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Reading Where the Lilies Bloom

This story teaches me of stories. It is realistic, harsh yet beautiful. It reminds me of the integrity that should go into a story. It is humbling and perhaps painful for an adult to read, while inspiring for a child. It shows what we might become through work and self-denial and shadows some of what children find when they go out into the world.

I have always been unimpressed by the great repressors, the exterminators of humanity. These authors seem to indicate what I so often feel, that the seed of badness is in many, that some people will do as much ill as they can. They are separated by dictators only by their lack of power. When I see this in my daily life it is painful.

Also the seed of badness is in each of us, and the seed of greatness is in each of us. The protagonist laments often that she doesn't have the strength to do what she must do, that God has made a weak, incapable vessel in her, though as the reader we are awed by her strength, that this fourteen year old girl cares for and buries her father, dead of something I don't know what, quite disgusting with worms, bargains with their landlord and bests him, raises her younger siblings and guards the virtue of her older one, now a woman, but retarded, from said landlord, without really understanding the threat. That's really interesting.

It's more than I could ever have done, and I feel small, but I am greedy for anything that will show me more than what I am, for I so long to be more.

I thought of that girl this morning when I opened my jewelry box, and how she (or someone like her) might never have owned a single piece of jewelry. I felt some perspective then as I considered how much I have, how hard it can be to stay in touch with perspective, and I wonder how skewed my perspective is, how much of my material life I take for granted.

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