Today is May 25th, the day Terry Pratchett fans wear the lilac as a reference to his beloved Discworld series (and also, more recently, in honor of the author and other Alzheimer’s patients). It is also, quite wonderfully coincidentally, Towel Day for Douglass Adams fans (author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series) and, as Jack reminded me, World Tarot Day. Let me take a moment to remind you, in case you forgot: DON’T PANIC.
But for me, this day is particularly special.
From my past experiences of reading books and watching movies, I know that I tend to intensely identify with one or two of the characters. Sometimes I think about how they would behave in my life situations and how I would in theirs. I don’t think this habit is all that uncommon, but if you want to read up more on it, see exhibits A and B.
This post, in contrast to the thousands of reviews on Kristen Cashore’s Bitterblue novel, explores the connection I developed while reading this book a few years ago and my recent re-reading to explore why it affected me so strongly. Rather than focus on the plot, I’m focusing more on the points of personal connection as a bit of a psychological exercise.
Slight Spoilers Ahead!
“Work is love made visible…
For if you bake bread with indifference,
You bake a bitter bread
that feeds but half man’s hunger.
And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes,
Your grudge distills a poison
in the wine.
And if you sing as though angels,
and love not the singing,
You muffle man’s ears
to the voices of the day
and the voices of the night.”
From The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran