I cried through half of the new Man of Steel, the new Superman movie. Guess which half? The first half, because it displayed such meaningful suffering, such noble inwardness, that it reminds me why I ever watch film. To catch a glimpse of the ideal, of virtue, even bedecked with tropes for one moment it may flicker and spark the wick of hope.
The first book series I ever read on my own was The Chronicles of Narnia and then The Lord of the Rings around age 11. They have shaped more more profoundly than any other book has, especially The Lord of the Rings. It reminds me, when nothing else does, that there can be a sublime beauty in failure, in loss, and utter human finitude. Finitude without aspiration is ugly despair. But sometimes, when I step away from Tolkien and think about suffering in our world, and not the world of fantasy, I ask whether ennobling one's suffering is still holy. Is the beauty of the uplifted spirit any less when one, who is burdened by the situation, choses to suffer without realizing that moment of sublimity?Or is it just my way that romanticizes suffering and violence when naught else can be done?