Sunday, December 16, 2012

Four thoughts

When I was growing up, there was a song I heard on the radio called, "What the World Needs Now is Love," written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach. The line that always sticks in my head, after the title line of course, is this one: "It's the only thing that there's just too little of."

This weekend, I finished reading A. S. King's book Ask the Passengers. The main character, Astrid, practices loving her fellow human beings, including strangers. "I send a steady, visible stream of it--love--from me to them ... It's a game I play. It's a good game because I can't lose. ... This isn't reciprocal. It's an outpouring."

Why she does this, and what comes of it, and what else is going on in her life, fills out the story of Astrid Jones. But that is where it begins, with a girl sending her love to the world.

"Then suddenly the dull light in the [subway] car began to shine with exceptional lucidity until everything around me was glowing ... and I saw in the row of motley passengers opposite the miraculous connection of all living beings. Not felt; saw. What began as a desultory thought grew to a vision, large and unifying, in which all the people in the car hurtling downtown together, including myself, like all the people on the planet ... formed one united family, indissolubly connected ... The vision filled me with overwhelming love for the entire human race ... "
--Alix Kates Shulman, Drinking the Rain

"Maybe this was what Ecclesiastes meant about casting your bread upon the water; it's so little, usually only crumbs, but how nourishing the casting is."
--Anne Lamott, Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith