sin to kill the mockingbird

i remember distinctly when i first opened To Kill a Mockingbird. 

my parents aren't big readers, and being the oldest child, i often forged my own way with books.  many of the books i have read have never even been touched by my parents (including 'A Tree Grows in Brooklyn'.  I read that book way too young and cannot even attempt a second try due to the scarring that book gave me).  i found TKaM in a box of books that a friend gave us, and as I took it to read, i hardly realized what an impact that book would hold for me.

the characters, the small town setting, it all became near and dear to me as each page drew me in more and more to the story that unfolded.  maybe i was too young to read a book that spoke on weighty matters such as rape, racism and violence.  the book harper lee made handled these topics with a grace and poise that made certain that the subjects did not skip over my head, but neither did they weigh so heavily that i could not focus on the simple subject that poured through every page like liquid gold.

"I think there's just one kind of folks; folks."
lee's book was written as beautiful as a aged poem, but as simply as if a scout herself penned the words in simple childlike prose.

i fell in love with the words that lee spun, but also the characters.
more specifically, atticus and boo radley. 

two very different men came forth from lee's script; one brave who faced the world with his own stance and never once moved.  a man who lifted a gun only in mercy and instead used his wit, his reason and his sense of right to fight the battles that a gun never could.

the other man was...unique. a man who hid himself away and tucked himself into the shadows. a man who wrapped himself into a blanket of hidden security and carried a reputation that caused fear.
a man who, underneath that shadow of security, had a heart as precious and big as could possibly be imagined.

lee was the author who first gave me the book that not only captured my mind and heart, but also stayed there in a place that no other book can take. she stayed out of the limelight, almost like a boo radley of her own (but more beloved).  really, she was only thrust into public attention when she announced the release of her second book, 'Go Set a Watchman'.
but where she was absent, her book(s) were wild fire that blazed through america at a time when they needed it and remained there like a smoldering fire that was ready to catch again when needed.
her books have never gone out of style (not 'popularity', for that is a fickle thing and im not sure scout would approve of the wordage.  style is classier. style doesn't fade like popularity will).

so to ms. lee, i say, thank you. thank you for taking that year off work, for taking that time to sit down and write a book and make it perfect.  thank you for publishing it (because it isn't writing if you don't have naysayers). thank you for your book and it's prequel.
thank you ms. lee. 
you were a gem and now you are a star. 
you wrote a book that became a classic for society and i can only hope to do what you achieved. 
you lived a life well made.
goodbye, ms. lee. 

1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful. I'm so sad I haven't read this book yet.


Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.
- Blaise Pascal