Although science fiction is not a genre that I generally chose, Neil Gaiman has a way with words that sets him above most writers of his time. His wish for the coming year is perfect. Magic, dreams and good madness. Yes...we all are in desperate need of good madness this year. Reading, kissing, drawing and singing are things that will fill my days with sunshine and push me through the cloudy days.
There will be cloudy days for us all, I fear, because everyone's road is a bit bumpy. Dwelling on the prospect of these impending clouds will not erase them however, so I don't think I want any "trigger warnings." In his book, Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances, Gaiman talks about these warnings that are meant to protect us from the violence or horror or fears that might be present in a book, movie or television show we might think about experiencing. If we always know the bad that might befall us, would that prevent us from taking certain steps in our lives, and if we then chose to turn away, what would we miss?
Through the worst experiences in our lives we often find a strength we never knew existed. These bad times help us to appreciate the good times all the more, and put so many minor things into the proper perspective. If I believed in trigger warnings, I would have never had children for fear of a genetic anomaly, and Arthur and I would have missed the sweetest parts of our lives. For that matter, the trigger warnings of marriage might have kept me from Arthur, the one person who makes every day matter for me.
Listening to Gaiman's suggestion that I read some fine books this year, I started 2017 reading Anthony Franze's newest book, The Outsider. This novel about a young lawyer working as a law clerk for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is both exciting and informative. When messenger Grayson Hernandez stops an attack on the Chief Justice, his life Is forever changed. His sudden promotion to the coveted position of law clerk puts him in a dangerous position, and life as he knows it will never be the same. Hmmm...I wonder if a trigger warning might have worked for him.
I do hope that the new year does treat everyone well, and that we all follow Neil Gaiman's advise and somewhere in the next year we surprise ourselves.
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