Tuesday, January 09, 2007
  Angela's Ashes
Reading this book, Angela’s Ashes, which I found on one of Chris’s bookshelves.

I honestly wanted to stop reading soon after I started; it’s so sad, the fact that it’s real makes it a story you don’t want to have to face. I keep getting this feeling, like.. that kids/poor people/poor kids back then, in an unfortunate place such as Ireland.. the way they were treated.. it’s the same way animals are sometimes treated nowadays. I wonder if that makes any sense. I feel like people look the other way much too often when it comes to animals and the way they are treated, whether it’s their neighbor’s dog tied-up outside day and night, or looking the other way when you see a scrawny kitten on the street. In Angela’s Ashes, it’s that way for kids too. Kids went to school barefoot, even in the cold, because their parents couldn’t afford shoes. They went hungry, with only some daily bread & tea to sustain them. They daydream of getting something as wonderful as an egg. An egg! The sad part is that there were people to help them.. How could teachers see their students come to school each day, shivering and starving, and not spend their last penny until they had some food? Or shoes? How could you not help your neighbor, if you were able?

Anyway, the story is not all sad-sad-sad. Frank McCourt writes the story from his childhood perspective, when it seems he didn’t realize things were as bad as they really.

This passage last night made my eyes fill up with tears; I thought I would share.

…and then remember that if I die tonight I’m in a state of sin for stealing and I could go straight to hell stuffed with fish and chips but it’s Saturday and if the priests are still in the confession boxes I can clear my soul after my feed.

The Dominican church is just up Glentworth Street.

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned, it’s a fortnight since my last confession. I tell him the ususal sins and then, I stole fish and chips from a drunken man.

Why, my child?

I was hungry, Father.

And why were you hungry?

There was nothing in my belly, Father.

He says nothing and even though it’s dark I know he’s shaking his head. My dear child, why can’t you go home and ask your mother for something?

Because she sent me out looking for my father in the pubs, Father, and I couldn’t find him and she hasn’t a scrap in the house because he’s drinking the five pounds Grandpa sent from the North for the new baby and she’s raging by the fire because I can’t find my father.

I wonder if the priest is asleep because he’s very quiet till he says, My child, I sit here. I hear the sins of the poor. I assign the penance. I bestow absolution. I should be on my knees washing their feet. Do you understand me, my child?

I tell him I do but I don’t.

Go home, child. Pray for me.

No penance, Father?

No, my child.

I stole the fish and chips. I’m doomed.

You’re forgiven. Go. Pray for me.

He blesses me in Latin, talks to himself in English and I wonder what I did to him.

Good book; check it out. Maybe the movie's decent, but I haven't seen it.
Wow! Definitely have to read that one after I finish the 3 fluff books I bought last night!
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I'm Stacey. I'm a 31(!)-year-old Wisconsin girl living in sunny South Florida. The highlights in my life are my lovely boyfriend, my aloof cats, my adorable/adoring stepdogs, my two lumbering tortoises, select family members, being outside, being underwater, taking pictures, yadda yadda. Stay tuned for lots of babbling!

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States


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Making a difference

A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore.

One day the boy learned there would be a minus tide that would leave the starfish stranded on the sand.

When the tide went out, he went down to the beach, began picking up the stranded starfish, and tossing them back into the ocean.

An elderly man who lived next door came down to the beach to see what the boy was doing. Seeing the man's quizzical expression, the boy paused as he approached. "I'm saving the starfish!" the boy proudly declared.

When the neighbor saw all of the stranded starfish he shook his head and said: "I'm sorry to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the beach, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look up the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy like you isn't going to make much of a difference."

The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down to the sand, picked up another starfish, tossed it out into the ocean, and said: "Well, I sure made a difference for that one!"

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