This week I’ve finally gotten a few minutes to start reading Crossed by Ally Condie and in the first pages I was reminded of one of the reasons I loved Matched so much. Printed in the front of the book are two poems, one by Dylan Thomas and the other by Alfred Lord Tennyson.
There is a line in the first one that most people know, or at least they should: Rage, rage against the dying of the light. It was this line that had me thinking about my own situation when I read Matched. Both the book and the poem seemed to be speaking directly to my situation at the time. I was working a job that, for me, was doing the opposite of what the poem said. It was doing what Society was doing; draining the light from me slowly.
Upon finishing Matched I had to really examine my life and how I have the freedom to make my own choices. A question I found myself asking was: Was the freedom I have being wasted on me? It was a question that nagged at me mostly because I believed the answer to be yes. But what was I to do about it?
Well nearly a year later, I haven’t done anything dramatic like Cassia did, but small shifts have brought my life more in line with my goals. But as with all resolutions, with time the fire has faded, I’ve forgotten the feelings that motivated me.
Having read the poem again a year later, I’m seeing it with different eyes, ones that have a new perspective. Because I’ve changed, I’m different now. It’s one of the many reasons I love books. The message they deliver always speak to me, but the same book can convey a different message depending on where I am in my life when I read it.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. I thought deeply about this and what does it mean to me now, as I made the long trek from work to home. And I find that now, with my new eyes, rather than it being about me, I find that I’m looking outward.
I’m seeing the good things that with time and the wear of life are ground down till they fit the mold that society has set of them. (funny – I wasn’t aiming to parallel it with the book at all.) And those words replay in my head, thinking Rage against the dimming of a love of writing by those who would tear down, rather than build up. Rage against the turning away from a dream because lack of support led to a sense of failure. Rage against the decay of kindness because of disillusionment and lack of appreciation.
I don't usually make New Years resolutions, but this year, though it isn't New Years day. I have a resolution. I intend to rage against the dying of the light in the form of the loss of, or the dimming of the good things that I see in the people around me.
How will I Rage? By telling those I love how much they mean to me. Thanking them for their contributions to my life and my happiness. By supporting those who share my dreams of writing, whether that be through a purchase of their book, a review, or for those closest, being there for them when they need me. By giving words or encouragement as often as I can to those who surround me.
Will you Rage with me?