Lately I have been engaged in some historical research related to a novel I am in the process of writing. I am somewhat intimidated by the whole concept of actually creating a manuscript of such recognisable structure. Be that as it may, and quite surprisingly, I am experiencing a great deal of enjoyment in attempting to do so.
There are those close to me who have indicated that I have an aptitude for writing, the extent of which thus far, has been relegated to short essays, missives on random topics and scenarios that periodically pop into my admittedly cluttered mind. At any given moment there is an avalanche of synaptic flotsam and jetsam ricocheting inside my cranium; most of which I am sure would form cohesive, and hopefully coherent trains of thought, if given the right conditions ….like sufficient sleep and exercise along with proper eating habits.
When I was a youth of about 7 or 8, I imagined myself as the protagonist in a story which told of a quasi-military airlift and relief agency, which offered unfettered access to immediate help for those in dire need. This help was provided without cost or censure, whether that need arose out of political or social unrest, or from natural disasters. Interestingly, even though that was something I had considered writing about at such a formative stage of my life, it has stayed with me throughout the intervening years.
I do recall thinking (with my then uncluttered, yet expansive 7 year old mind), that in order to facilitate the process of helping the destitute and downtrodden, it would be expeditious to remove those in power over countries that seemed incapable of resolving their ongoing disputes. To accomplish this, that aforementioned quasi-military entity would be the vehicle to facilitate the forced exile of said leaders, to an orbiting space station with food rations, until they reached a consensus that did not involve gain for themselves. At the time, this seemed to be an acceptable and straightforward solution to a 7 year old. Ironically, it still holds sway for some of us currently over 50 as well.
What I did not realize at the time, but have long since learned, is that adults tend to blur the sharp lines of black and white. Right and wrong has become so subjectively out of focus, as to lead to social myopia on a grand scale. Terms such as “too idealistic” are applied to anyone audacious enough to question the keepers of “truth”, about their self-appointed sense of entitlement, while those who differ from their viewpoint are considered anachronistic at best and Politically Incorrect at the extreme.
The novel that I have challenged myself to write is set in the 1st century A.D. A time where questions of right and wrong were no less prevalent or debated. The interpretation of justice, along with other moral and ethical conundrums, are just as applicable in this day and age. Another integral facet of life in general that has been learned the hard way, is the knowledge that most answers that have been sought out over past millennia, always seem to generate even more questions.
Could it be that we may have been asking the wrong questions all along?