Thursday, February 26, 2015

Canary In The Coal Mine

I think it's a mark of excellent writing when you think about a story when you're not reading it, and long after you've turned the last page.

I was thinking about the story of the canary in the coal mine, and how in The Hunger Games, this is Katniss's father. He's the canary, the victim of a strange and tragic life. He sings, and teaches Katniss to sing, but after he dies in the mine accident, she doesn't sing anymore.

In a way, we are all canaries in the coal mine of life. Some of us sing. Others, like me, seldom have the heart for it. For as J.M. Coetzee writes, "What bird has the heart to sing in a thicket of thorns?"

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