Like the rest of the world, I am completely captivated by the rescue of the Chilean miners. Theirs is a daring story of darkness and light. I cannot begin to imagine the hell they endured underground, but it sure makes my heart swell to see them back on land, reuniting with their families and beginning the long process of reclaiming their lives.
I wish that Linda Norgrove’s story ended this way. She’s the Scottish aid worker taken hostage and later killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan. There are no words for this sort of senseless tragedy.
Sandwiched between these two world events, my brother got married in New York City this past weekend. His new bride, Bridget, asked me to serve as master of ceremonies, a role I was honored to play. She loves literature, and felt a deep connection to Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. “Isn’t this a bit dark for a wedding?” I asked. The book, after all, is set in a burned-out America. “No, what I love about the story,” Bridget said, “is the intense love the father and son have for one another.”
Don’t go away the boy said.
Of course I wont go away.
Even for just a little while.
No. I’m right here.
He wiped his white mouth while he slept.
I will do what I promised, he whispered.
I will not send you into the darkness alone.
Yes. In the midst of nothingness, in which no hope remains, father and son are each other’s entire world.
I wonder if the Chilean miners felt this way while trapped in the San Jose mine. In order to stay alive, they had to rely upon one another to fight the demons of doubt, and breathe in hope, faith, light, and the possibility of rescue. For 70 terrifying days.
Mario Sepulveda, the second miner freed, says he saw both good and evil. “I think I have learned a lot of wonderful lessons about taking the good path in life,” he said.
My writing mentor at Goucher sums it up this way, “We should never complain about anything ever again!”