Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Wind is Not a River

August 10, '42
My Dearest Love,
You have found me gone and our things hid safe.
They came to the village June 7 and we fear they will take us away.
I will wait for you. Think of your promise to me and remember, the wind is not a river.
pg. 133
Brian Payton

Some men have the great misfortune to stand at life's continental divide and see that the land beyond is barren. There is no hope of turning back. What does one do with this view?

It takes the rest of the day, but then the answer descends on him like a revelation. Easley's eyes open wide, he stands to greet its arrival. It is the phrase, the riddle he has been repeating like a prayer. It is, of course Tatiana.

The wind is not a river.

Her chain of islands that dares to separate the North Pacific from the Bering Sea. A chain through which the wind whips into some of the world's most fearsome storms. One minute it's a hurricane, the next a breeze. But rivers! Rivers flow throughout the seasons--under bright summer sun, plates of winter ice--morning, noon, and night. Wind rises up and fades away, but a river flows endlessly.

And our suffering? This too shall pass. The wind is not a river.
pg. 186
And... Some wise words similar to ones I remind myself.
If John were with her now, he would hold her hand and tell her not to fill the void with fear. Be realistic, he'd say, but do not jump straight to catastrophic conclusions... There are enough hard facts to confront each day without letting our imaginations get the better of us--without letting worry drain our real lives away
pg. 264
A stunning novel set during WWII in the Aleutian Islands and Seattle. I couldn't put it down, and i find myself ruminating over the characters and storyline. Not completely sure I'm happy with the ending, but not devastated either.
The two main characters are fully developed with thoughts and feelings, and attention to details of daily life that so many authors of fast moving (a misnomer for this story of suffering and perseverance, except it all takes place in a tight time frame of about 8 weeks.) adventure or psychological thriller novels skip over. Often the hero(es) or protagonists flit around the world daily never getting hungry or requiring sleep. Payton captures the humanity and frailties of the characters, making me feel their hopes, pains, struggles.


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