Monday, January 01, 2007

Reaching for the Moon

Debra Dixon's posted a short free romance story online which spoke to me on two levels. Her Wishing for the Moon is about someone who wants to be sure that she's truly loved and known for herself:
The truth was that she wanted someone to find her in a crowd. Someone who could see Erin instead of a twin. Someone who wouldn't hesitate for that split-second, wondering which sister she was. Yeah...well. She'd be better off wishing for the moon.
I think we all wish for someone who can find us in a crowd, whether or not we have a twin. None of us want to be second-best, or to be mistaken for someone else. It's why sibling rivalry can break out, as each child tries to be noticed by their parents, and why lovers can become jealous. We all want to be known and loved for who we really are. In its rather understated way, I think that's what's being promised in Luke 12: 6-7
6: Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?
7: But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
Generally I suppose most people wouldn't think that it was a huge compliment to be told that they were more important than a sparrow, but I think the point here is that we're being told that if God can tell even the sparrows apart, then it's an easy matter for God to tell two humans apart, and value each individual. The way it's put, though, reminds me of Farmer Hoggett in Babe: The Sheep-Pig who, at Babe's moment of triumph at the sheepdog trials, when Babe (a pig) has proved that a pig can do a better job than any sheepdog, leans down and says just a few words:
Narrator: And though every single human in the stands or in the commentary boxes was at a complete loss for words, the man who in his life had uttered fewer words than any of them knew exactly what to say.
Farmer Hoggett: That'll do, pig. That'll do.
And I think that's the second message I can find in Debra Dixon's story: that when it comes to the things that are really important to us we should keep wishing for the moon, and not settle for second-best. Or, as Jenny Crusie puts it, we should be rats who keep swimming, knowing that we'll find our island:
What's the worst that can happen? [...] at the end of your life you look back and say, “I had a dream and I fought for it, I believed in myself and my work, and I never, ever gave up.” That's a life well lived, folks, a helluva lot better than, “I had a dream but it wasn't realistic so I quit and watched television.” Do not let reality push you around, do not be sensible and kill your own dreams.
At the beginning of a New Year seems like a good time to think about our dreams, have hope that they can become reality, and reach for the moon.


  1. Inspiring post, Laura.

    I'd like to congratulate you and Eric and your co-bloggers on the success of Teach Me Tonight. Your scholarly examination of the romance genre has been a bright light in the blogisphere these past several months. Thanks for taking romance seriously and treating its readers and writers with respect rather than the condescension we're so used to.

    Please keep up the good work. I'm looking forward to reading more of your thought-provoking posts in 2007.

  2. Thanks, Brenda! It feels really good to be appreciated, and we'll do our best to 'keep up the good work' this year.

  3. Happy New Year, Laura!

    Thanks for making this blog sing this year, and especially for posting on such an upbeat, encouraging topic to start us off for 2007.

    Your post reminds me of the deep, deep link between all the various genres of romance--the link that makes all romance "inspirational," I suppose, even if it isn't all exactly Christian. That's a topic I'll try to come back to as the year goes by.

    In any case, I am once again tickled and dazzled by your range of reference and ability to make connections here: romance fiction, the Book of Luke, "Babe: the Sheep-Pig." Wonderful stuff, and--as Bridget Jones would say--v.g. start to year!

  4. Great post, Laura. It's tiring being that little rat swimming and swimming and swimming. We all need a little inspiration. Thanks!

  5. Wonderful post. Great way to start the new year on your blog. Thanks so much!

  6. Thanks very much Eric, Helen and Melissa, and it's lovely to see so many people here. Things seemed to be quite quiet all over the internet during the holidays, so it's fun to see them picking up again now.

    "That's a topic I'll try to come back to as the year goes by."

    I look forward to reading more of your thoughts about it, Eric. I have a few of my own, but they're still a bit vague, so I've been saving them up.