Have you ever read or heard about the book by Albert Camus entitled, “The Plague?”
If you are looking for understanding, for reflection and a short and introspective deep read, then “The Plague” might be a good book for you to consider.
I read this book around four months ago and I found the reflections and storytelling of the characters very profound. Perhaps this is because we are currently in a Global Pandemic and the book focuses on a small town being put into lockdown. The inhabitants of the town are apart from the rest of world, as people within the town suffer and then die from the plague.
Below is a composed letter. It was artificially created by myself and addressed to my son. The purpose of the letter is to reflect on one aspect or impact of the book and then write a letter to someone I care about. Sharing what the book has taught me.
I hope it brings out reflections in your genuine heart, as we all continue on our “The Plague” journey together.
I am not sure if I have ever shared with you that when you came into my life, you scared me.
I feared my own uncertainties coupled with the general unknowns of our future together. Specifically, your future and the possible external influences and events that would unfold you. I believe what author Jess Lair says,
“children are not things to be molded, but are people to be unfolded”.
Now as you enter adulthood, I realize that sometimes I am perceived like a pestilence to you. At times, it can feel like you and I are from opposite sides of the world, separated by a deep ocean of despair. Has the world I introduced you to, a couple of decades ago, failed us?
Here is a quote from a book I recently read, “The truth is that everyone is bored, and devotes himself to cultivating habits. Our citizens work hard, but solely with the object of getting rich. Their chief interest is commerce, and their chief aim in life is, as they call it, ‘doing business.” Is this like the world we now share? I had wanted a secure and solid grounding for you to grow up. A place of opportunity filled with hope and compassion.
As your sharp green eyes look to me, I feel I carry the burden of historical choices of an entire generation, choices you now look to me to defend.
When words fail me, I seek to read the words of others.
That is why I chose to read the book, The Plague. The author Albert Camus is a known absurdist. The utility of his writing in The Plague, did not take me on a roller coaster ride of dread but rather on a swan ride. Winding through dark tunnels that loop around paths of deep assessments of society. Imagine an elegant, white swan ride as it floats atop a dark, black oil; never once getting splashed or darkened by the blackened crude. This is my perception of Camus’ story. It causes me to reflect; perhaps the greatest measure of a society is how it treats its most vulnerable.
Albert the Absurdist
Imaginably an absurdist helped me to understand how to articulate to you how the fear of the unknown rattles your life each and every day, but it doesn’t define it.
Your world has become so globally influenced. Information slaps you, like a pail of cold water to the face every morning you awake. Your personal device throws pails of ice cold water at you one after another. The news of the COVID-19 pandemic, its impacts to the economy and your future flow across your device’s screen. No words I use can calm the tsunami that has destroyed your hope for a better world.
The Plague is our common ground. There is nothing new under the sun, what is old shall be new again. Use my moral teachings to help understand, that pestilence will always return. As Camus explains in the end of the book. Your fear and lack of hope is our common ground. Together we can make it our safe ground. We both can meet upon it and build a hope raft together. Our own floatation device that we can sail upon, above the heavy oil.
Your journey is longer than mine is now, so I think you should be captain, and I, the perfect first mate.
Keep looking for the gems……..