The Stolen Child
Posted February 7, 2010on:
by Keith Donohue
I love this book. Overall it is about coming of age, about finding one’s own identity. For me, it reads mostly like a story about courage. To find an identity, you have to have courage to face the past. Face all the wrong decisions you have made and the consequences they introduce and the effects on where you are at this point of time in life. That is not an easy thing to do. It requires honesty, a complete honesty to oneself.
Back to the holiday season or some usual parties around. We meet people and we tell them something about ourselves. Sometimes trivial things, mostly things that do not matter to anyone. We meet up friends and tell them stories and what happened in life. Sometimes it is not trivial things but still it is a version to tell other people. To say it serves a particular purpose would be exaggerating. In the end we tell because we want to and we need comforts or attention. But are we manipulating the words and sequences and happenings that we tell others so that it can be true in a more preferable way in real life? It is not outright lying. In fact, it is more like wishful thinking. We tell people the things we wish to be true. Sometimes we are so good that we ourselves would start to believe in the version we tell other people.
Sometimes this can do good since we could selectively edit out the parts that we don’t want and only keep the parts that we can accept. It at least helps getting along with the flow. But the truth will catch up in the end. Lying to others is hard and lying to self is even harder. Time reveals. Heart never heals with lies or manipulations. Sometimes we are so steeped in the perception we created that we forget what it is really like. At the moment of introspection, it could be very confusing or very lost.
Then comes courage. Aniday, or Henry Day, they led lives that plagued them and made them always questioning the alternatives, the paths never partook and the lives that were taken away from them by fate. They were normal human boys that were kidnapped by changelings and therefore had to wait for decades for their turn to come back to the human society they so longed for but with a secret to keep for life and heavy emotional luggage to dredge through. In the end, they confronted each other and made decisions to accept. That is the moment when the heart leaps with hope and life opens up, finally. Without the courage to face their past, they would forever cower in a dark corner and long for things that can never be theirs.
One can only applaud such courage and hope it comes when needed.