Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Forever Young

France, 1916. A British Army sapper named Jack Firebrace sits on a trench step recovering from six hours of tunneling under no-man's land. His thoughts turn to his eight-year old son, whose birth and life awakened within Jack a poetry of parental warmth and perception that he had not thought himself capable of feeling:
Eight-and-a-half years earlier, when his wife had given birth to a son, Jack's life had changed.As the child grew, Jack noticed in him some quality he valued and which surprised him. The child was not worn down. In his innocence there was a kind of hope. Margaret laughed when Jack pointed this out to her. "He's only two years old," she said. "Of course he's innocent."
This was not what Jack had meant, but he could not put into words the effect that watching John had on him. He saw him as a creature who had come from another universe; but in Jack's eyes the place from which the boy had come was not just a different world but a better world. His innocence was not the same thing as ignorance; it was a powerful quality of goodness that was available to all people: it was perhaps what the prayer book called a means of grace, or a hope of glory.
Sebastian Faulks


Scrumpy said...

Lovely. (Hubby loves Eddie Vedder.)

K. said...

The guy has a set of pipes, that's for sure. Has hubs heard EV sing Dylan's "Masters of War"? Click here.

Scrumpy said...

I'll pass it on, thanks!

Darlene said...

if only we could bottle the joy that a toddler finds in simple pleasures. There would be no need for greed and the materialism that is harming our culture.

mommapolitico said...

Great post, my friend. Thanks for that. Hope grad school is treating you well!

K. said...

Darlene: Not a day goes by when I don't think about my sons as little kids. I doubt that it's any different for my 82-year old father.

MP: Thanks! And ditto for your new endeavor!

nursemyra said...

I love Eddie Vedder