Thursday, May 12, 2005

Jury Duty Day Two

I only had to attend for half a day, and I am relieved of any jury duty for the next 3 years! =D

Today, I waited in room 167, which is a lot more spacious and better ventilated. The conditions were perfect for reading.

I started reading a novel that my good friend Grace gave me for my birthday last year. It is titled, In the Time of the Butterflies, by Julia Alvarez. It is the story of four sisters who lived through the dictatorship regime of Tujillo in the Dominican Republic, circa 1945.

I was drawn into the book from the first chapter. Alvarez's main protagonist, Dede, doodles a picture of a tree on the back of an envelope, with half of the tree being drawn on the flap. It is a tree that grows at the entrance to the pathway that leads to the house, where Dede's family have lived for generations, presumably. I can sense that the tree has been a landmark of many important family events. Now, a visitor has arrived to research the life of the Mirabel sisters.

This image spoke to me of incompleteness, brokenness, a gap. When the flap is closed, the picture is complete. The picture is broken when the flap is opened. People's memories of the past might be pleasant until one opens up the little envelope inside one's heart, an envelope that holds the sad and painful memories. Opening and closing the flap is easy to do, but does one want to do it?

No comments: