June 14, 2008

Blankets

Posted in Readinglights at 8:29 am by qballkubal

“Does anyone have an idea of what we might be doing in Heaven?”

One girl answered, “RELAXING, like on vacation.”

A boy answered, ” Snowmobiling.”

Another boy answered, ” Football.”

Craig, apparently, gave this answer, “Drawing.”

As if the teacher was struck dumb by the answer Craig gave to her, she explained with a faint smile that the new live in Heaven will be devoted to praising and worshiping God: bowing to him; singing Him Songs; and exclaiming His name for all eternity; we will have a beautiful voice in heaven so that we can sing to him for every moment we have there.

Unsatisfied by her answer Craig continued to say, almost barely followed what the teacher were trying to explain to her, “…..draw His CREATION…like trees and stuff…”

The teacher gave him the last explanation, “But Craig….He’s already drawn it for us.”

As I’ve finished reading Blankets, a graphic novel by Craig Thompson, I believe the conversation above was the turning point of Craig’s faith in Christianity. He was obviously unsatisfied with that explanation. Why we are not allowed to draw His creation as an expression of admiration? Why would He only allow us to sing, bow, and praise for Him in the heaven for eternity?

Unfortunately, I am not a Christian. Thus, I don’t have the right to judge anything that is related to this issue. However, I can give you a brief review about the book itself. The story followed the fortune of remarkable character of the author, in the search of the faith in Christian. Ever since a child, Craig had been trying to understand Christian. At first, he believed that this was his way of life and his passion: to be able to understand the Bible and apply it in everyday life. Yet, as he grew up, he found that there were too many things that did not fit with the Bible. He also found that the Bible itself could not give him the answer to his doubts in this life, especially when it clashed with his other passion in life: drawing.

I’m not a fan of graphic novel and yet, I find that Blankets gives me the same thrill with novel. Craig is able to give every meaning in his drawing. You can see the intense feeling and emotional shock in his drawing. In addition, his drawing can give us the same feeling that he had at that time: guiltiness, confusion, fear, and a feeling of fed up to the back teeth. Perhaps, this book can give us another perception about why some people choose to change the religion, why some people choose to be agnostics, and why some people choose to be atheists.

I suddenly remembered a conversation with my friend recently. He said to me:

“I think the whole point of us to believe in our own religion is because we are used to it. Ever since we were born, we are forced to have faith in the same religion of our parents. And perhaps, we have stayed too long in the comfort zone that we will almost agree that changing the religion is an act of heresy.”

I was not offended by his statement. Yet, I was questioned myself, ” Does this mean that actually any religion might have the same value of truth towards the God? If we were raised as a person without religion in the first place, what would we think about all the religions in this world? Would we see all of them as the same, thus there is no point of fighting?” Perhaps in that way we could bring more peace in some parts of the world which have shattered and devastated by the war in faith.

Picture from topshelfcomix.

Sekali Peristiwa di Banten Selatan

Posted in Readinglights at 7:27 am by qballkubal

“Dimana-mana aku selalu dengar: Yang benar juga akhirnya yang menang. Itu benar; Benar sekali. Tapi kapan? Kebenaran tidak datang dari langit, dia mesti diperjuangkan untuk menjadi benar…..”

-Pramoedya Ananta Toer-

Satu kata yang dapat menggambarkan keseluruhan karya-karya Pramoedya Ananta Toer: humanis. Hampir semua karya Pram selalu menaruh berat pada masalah kemanusiaan dan keadilan. Baginya, pribadi yang memiliki nilai- nilai sejati adalah rakyat jelata.

Berlatar belakang daerah Banten pada tahun 1957, dimana pemerintah Indonesia kewalahan menghadapi musuh dari NICA dan pemberontakan Darul Islam. Karyanya kali ini merupakan hasil survei dan investigasi Pram sendiri di daerah tersebut. Hasil investigasi Pram mengungkapkan sebuah kisah tentang keberanian rakyat jelata dalam melawan penindasan dan tirani; pentingnya nilai gotong- royong dalam masyarakat dan bahwa itu bukanlah hanya sebuah konsep atau pelajaran sekolah dasar belaka.

“…..kita memasuki dunia yang sama sekali baru, dunia manusia, Nyonya, yang isinya penuh dengan binatang buas berkulit orang. Kulitnya saja kulit orang, tapi adatnya, tingkahlakunya, semua sama dengan binatang buas. Barangsiapa lengah, dikunyahnya. Barangsiapa lena, diterkamnya…”

Pram selalu bisa membuat metafor sifat-sifat manusia ke dalam personifikasi hewan. Always salute to him and his nationalism!