Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rush - Nobody's Hero Ghost Rider Travels on the Healing Road

When I heard you were gone, I felt a shadow cross my heart.

Chapter 6 of Ghost Rider, by Neil Peart, left one with a feeling of melancholy, as we read about Neil's continued spiral into loneliness, and although his travels take him to more populace areas within the United States, the feeling of not connecting grows stronger.

To top it off, Neil's best friend, Brutus, caught trafficking drugs lands in jail. This incident becomes a tremendous set back for Neil as he was supposed to meet Brutus in a few days for some companionship.

We also discover that Neil clamors over writers of long ago, such as Jack London and Scott Fitzgerald. When visiting London's old homestead, he acknowledges the futility of death, "They (London and his wife Charmian) loved each other, did cool stuff together, but that didn't keep him alive. Or her, for that matter, though she lived on alone for many years."

We recognize that the quote doesn't just describe London, but it foreshadows Neil's possible future...a very long life, alone without Jackie.

I chose just to do some simple journal writing with the students of West Texas State School. A basic question, "What happened in Chapter 6 that caused Neil to suddenly become sad." The answer, Brutus gets locked up. The question that required some thought, "Do you agree with Neil that the world is a sad, sad place?" Explain.

I got varied responses for the second question, but one reflective response stood out among the rest, "How can you measure the sadness of the world? His sadness comes from his experience, but I don't feel that the world itself is a sad place. Shit happens, and then you deal with it. If you choose to shut down and give up, then you might as well just die, what's the point to continue on in your sadness? I'm locked up, but I got to make the most of it. Maybe I'll just fake it to make it or maybe I'll learn something and change myself, I'm not sure yet."


Robbie said...

Sadness can be viewed in various degrees depending on the enduring pain at the time. I'm sure that Neil viewed the world in a dark tint when Brutus was locked up. He had so much on his shoulders to begin with. But it is Neil's character that will allow him to overcome and learn from the experience as we all do, like a half filled glass...

When we get consumed with the view point of is the glass half empty of half full we fail to see the value of the contents of the glass. Drink what is there, like it or dislike it, learn what it means to you and go on and enjoy life no matter the 'fullness' of the glass. Hardships are a part of life but we cannot allow them to consume us, we must consume them just like the contents of the glass, learn from them, and move on with our journey...

Excellent Choice of Song Joely!


Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

I think the student just meant that the sadness comes the people and the experiences they encounter or have, not so much that the world itself is a sad place. Depending on our choices, where we are and choose to work...these things make up our world. Sure, there are wars and rumor of wars, but all in all, we make our own happiness.

Thanks for the comment Robbie, it is very much appreciated!