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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Kazuo Ishiguro,Thankfulness and other Thoughts.

Snow on the coast: a sight to behold. A thankful thought that we live in such beautiful surroundings, where temperatures are mild all year long. Humans should be thriving here.  Humans, however, are rare in these parts. They fear the harsh winds, as well as  the monotonous winter days of dark clouds and incessant rain. Humans tend to detach themselves from pain and discomfort as long as they can.

What if our sole purpose was to become instruments of comfort and eternal life for others?

That is the premise in Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go, an innocent, elegiac novel of coming of age.

It is a story about human clones who are nurtured to be fully humans.  Their lives have all the requirements for success and usefulness in a proper society. Their needs for love and companionship, for history and past connections are every one's needs.  The story begins in a boarding school and ends as the protagonist goes off to tend to another sick person about to donate his/her organs, and live out their purpose in life. What she finds reassuring in all this pain-filled world she ended up in, are the memories she has of her childhood with friends, when life was innocent and full of small surprises and constant friendships. She never questions her purpose in life; she is grateful she has such wonderful memories.

This is a very sad story.  
But what if this really happened?
To what extremes will we go to prolong life, to cut back our pains and discomforts?
If you have not read Never Let Me Go, you have missed another gem from the author of Remains of the Day.

25 comments:

Ann Best said...

What a beautiful photograph!

There is much beauty on this earth. Too often we focus on the not so beautiful.

Good question. "To what extremes will we go to prolong life, to cut back our pains and discomforts?" I think it's "natural" for humans to avoid pain and discomfort. I don't know very many people who deliberately embrace pain. But pains of all kinds will come to us in this life, because, as I believe, we are here on earth to experience opposition in all things. If we don't know pain, we can't really know and appreciate joy.

Anyway, just a few pre-Thanksgivng thoughts prompted by your thought-provoking post.

And thanks for your kind thoughts just now on my blog. May you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

Terra said...

I like the photo which creates a mood. You live in a beautiful place and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Rob-bear said...

Hmmmm. "To what extremes will we go to prolong life, to cut back our pains and discomforts?"

For the Bear, it's enough medication so I can move around each day. Given chronic health problems, that's what seems to work. We won't be pain free, nor would we want to be. Pain is a signal that something is wrong, and we need to attend to it. When the signal won't quit, even after things have been "attended to," well, that's another story.

Happy Thanksgiving to your household, Rosaria.

Brian Miller said...

nice...will check this one out...

Hope said...

wonderful photo!

interesting question. I think it's realistic to think no matter what we do, we cannot prolong our life forever.

I think we need to make our life here on this earth as comfortable as possible for ourselves and others. If we didn't have to deal with disease, chronic illnesses and such, we would still have to deal with old age...and that in itself is not comfortable.
so be as comfortable as you possibly can and learn to accept the rest. I agree with Ann 'if we don't know pain, we can't really know and appreciate joy.'

sounds like a really good book by the way.

blessings to you and have a wonderful thanksgiving

She Writes said...

I am gong to look for it for a holiday read!

Thank you for the sweet comment at my blog, Rosaria!

Donna said...

You are right...many times we treat animals more gently in euthanasia that they may need than we do humans. Such a somber thought on the eve of thankfulness. So right now I sit here with a pain in my hip but just thankful for many things among them...life. Don't know if I could be thankful for snow though and I hear we are getting it too.

Bonnie said...

Are those ice pellets on your deck! A happy Thanksgiving to you and all who gather 'round your table.

Woman in a Window said...

pain can also be a signal that we are alive. it is with the highs and the lows that we learn, the joy and the pain. don't get me wrong, i love the joy, shrink from the pain, but know that they're both necessary. oh, and look, snow! how i will love it when it comes. and when it leaves.

what a strange book. i'm curious.

watch out that window for me, rosaria, pause and look out that window at the snow for me while your turkey cooks and the babble fills the house. have a beautiful thanksgiving.

xo
erin

potsoc said...

In le Petit Prince, Antoine de Saint-Éxupéry puts these words in a rose's mouth: "Il faut bien que j'endure quelques chenillse si je veux connaître les papillons."
As for snow we had a sprinkiling a week ago, nothing since and it has all melted away. But we will not escape it.

Ocean Girl said...

What a wonderful deck. A deck that holds conversations, happy family parties and quiet reading moments. A deck perfect for reflection.

Hello Lakeviewer, happy thanksgiving.

Natalie said...

Gorgeous pic!You live in such a picturesque place.It looks like it is worth a bit of discomfort for the joy of the experience. That is life in a nutshell I suppose.
The book does sound very sad though.

Dawn said...

Hmmm...very thought provoking.
I know I probably go to the extreme...but I stay away from doctors so I never have to find out "if" anything is wrong. I just want to live and go when I was meant to.
Sounds like a read I would want to sit down with.

Have a wonderful day- and thanks for this post!

yaya said...

Working in health care I see every day the results of prolonging life when it would be better to let go. Are we not suppose to believe it's better in the next life? My heart goes out to people who suffer with chronic pain..either body or soul. But sometimes we think there should not ever be pain and that can get us in trouble...being thankful means be grateful for getting through the pain of life with a smile and hope. Have a great holiday.

#1Nana said...

I hope you have a great holiday. I'm adding the book to my wish list at paperbackswap.com. Thanks for the tip.

NitWit1 said...

Sounds like an interesting book with eternal questions of pain and length of life concepts.

My Kindle is has more than I get to for quite some time.

Looks like today will be a lovely Thanksgiving Day for you. The wind is blowing and it is raining here, but we are going to the Senior Center.

Dedene said...

I like Ishiguro's works too. Lovely photos. Happy Thanksgiving.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Rosaria, I have not read this book, but I did read "Remains of the Day" and thought it was great. I'll be looking for this book; Ishiguro is a great novelist. Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours... keep dry.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Sounds like a most worthy read. Not to mention your most worthy post.

Happy Thanksgiving, to you, Rosaria!

ds said...

I have long stayed away from this book, because of its subject matter, but the way you present it makes it a must read. Will definitely find this! Thank you for that, and your wonderful pictures and posts.

Happy Thanksgiving, Rosaria!

Man of Roma said...

Great picture and happy Thanksgiving to you and all your family Rosaria!

Relyn said...

Here it is Thanksgiving Day and we are all piled up watching the parade. So, I have the perfect time to drop by and visit friends. I wanted to tell you that one the things I am thankful for today is blogging and the way it has made my world so much bigger. Thank you for the friendship, the wisdom, and the inspiration I have found here. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, my friend. Happy Thanksgiving!

Pseudo said...

I love the cushions on your chair in that photo.

And Happy Thanksgiving!

karen said...

Hi Rosaria. I have so much to catch up on.. have read back on all the posts I've missed!!

Thanks for the book recommendation - I have picked up so many from bloggers...

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Maggie May said...

I have read this book and found it hauntingly brilliant. Quite sad though!
Sorry I am late getting to this post.
Maggie X

Nuts in May