April 26, 2014

Fiction and Reality

Some of you may know that I am currently writing a book about a Holocaust survivor. 

I am pausing for a few days this week to listen.

I'm listening to the voice of a friend of mine, Donna, who is and Episcopal Priest (in case you don't know I am an Episcopal Deacon) and who is making a Journey of Remembrance and Hope, following the path of her family who were killed in the Lodz Ghetto and at Auschwitz. 

It is a painful journey for her and her friends are supporting her with prayer. 

This book has been slow in writing for me.  At first I thought I was being just kinda poky and blocked.  Now I realize that, even though I lost no one in my family during the Holocaust, I feel the sorrow of those millions of people as I write the book.  Particularly hard for me has been writing what happened to one of my protagonists in the camp.

I am half Quaker and an avowed pacifist.   I feel that in no way is war ever justified.  Yet, to free a people from this kind of utter destruction, pain and suffering war may be the only way.  It presents for me an existential conflict that agonizes me. 

Donna quotes from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran pastor who wrote about the Cost of Discipleship, who was imprisoned by the Nazis and eventually murdered: 

I will resume writing on my novel when Donna has finished her journey.  Right now I cannot compare my fictional journey to her real one.

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