My husband and I have started to read the book ‘The Great Divorce’ together each night. One chapter a night, and then we talk about the chapter. We find it helpful to have something other than our kids and house and jobs to talk about. I am loving it!
For those of you who have not yet read the book, the basic premise is that a man finds himself in hell, and in hell he finds himself at a bus stop going to somewhere he doesn’t know. He decides to wait in a HUGE line (this is of course chapter one) to get on the bus and see where it is going. As he stands in line feeling like it might be a hopeless pursuit to get on the bus, he notices that people are slowing getting out of the line, moving his place in line closer and closer, until there is no reason why he should be able to catch the next bus. The bus we learn, is destined to arrive in heaven. The ride, takes him to the place between heaven and hell, and the people he meets on the bus all tell a story… (I have yet to get past chapter 2 so this is all I can give you.)
Last night, in chapter 2, the man on the bus (I don’t think he has a name but lets’ call him Joe for the sake of needing a name – if he actually has a name that I am missing and you know it… please leave a comment below for me and I will correct this). So, Joe is sitting beside this man who has had a lot of bad luck in life, he has had untold misfortune, and thus no one ever saw his true genius, the women never saw how charming he was, the blokes never saw what fun he could be, he missed out on opportunity after opportunity. He is and has been the perpetual victim. I found this character particularly interesting because I know this person, I know many of them, I am one of them many times. Always a reason that I didn’t cut it, always some person who was to blame for my failures. I call this person, and myself at times, the perpetual victim. Always the butt of the joke, always the victim of someone insults, always the victim of a cruel boss, cruel co-worker, cruel spouse, cruel friends, cruel dog or cat, cruel life… just always a victim. The hard part about this mood, or these people, is that you can’t say anything to them… because then it’s you who is victimizing them. You who are the cruel friend, or if it’s you in this mood then it’s just one more mean thing that a person has said to you… one more abuse you have endured on this road of your journey….
When you are already seeing things in chapter 2 that make a difference in your life, or help you to see others and yourself differently, then I believe the book is going to be fantastic! I can’t wait to meet the other people on the bus, and to learn more about me and help me to be more understanding of those around me. Good read so far and as I mentioned it’s only chapter 2!!