Friday, January 29, 2010

Rabbit Run

This is the first book in the Rabbit Angstrom series. It's good but Updike learned some tricks by Rabbit Redux that make a difference. One passage here has a minister trying to convince Rabbit to return to his wife after he left her for no reason. (except he thinks she's dumb)

Rabbit says, "I do feel there is something out there waiting for me to find it."
The minister says, "All vagrants think they're on a quest, at least at first."

Ah, that's a dirty thing to say. To passively accuse Rabbit of being a vagrant and then to disparage the noble motives he think he has. I will meditate on this comment to see what wisdom it has to offer. When is a quest a bit of folly? And once the veil of the quest has fallen then what is left? Was it aimless? Didn't Jesus wander the desert as well? I wonder. And if you find something in your journeys then was that a coincidence? Does the vagrant justify his wanderings by inventing clues along the way? The people we meet are road signs pointing a new direction. See? I'm not wandering, I'm looking for direction...and the impulses that spur me on are no less valid than the new order from a company that forces you to work harder to make more money.
And I've met vagrants who no longer think they are on a quest and didn't ever think they were on a quest. So what about them? What if some vagrants really are on a quest? Why deny them that peace? Who is this minister to define another man?
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.