Dylan Liguori 10/2/13
The Zen meditation always helps me focus and think about things that were displayed in “Gods Grandeur”, “The Harlem Dancer”, and “A Good Man is Hard to Find”. In these three works the authors take a non-bias look at things that most people take granted for and just don’t think about when it is extremely important. In “Gods Grandeur” we can see that for almost eternity people have been going on with their lives, not really accepting God’s mission and trust to respect the greatness they have been lucky enough to receive in the gift of human life. In “The Harlem Dancer” McKay takes a young prostitute or exotic dancer and comes to realize that she may not be under the most suitable circumstances at the moment and may be doing these looked down upon acts to help raise her family or just to support herself, he sees past that and looks at the beauty she has within which the young audience does not seem to get. “A Good Man is Hard to Find” has this killer who is being convinced by the grandmother that he can change and be good again, but he contemplates that he has always been bad, and so bad that he can’t remember what put him into prison. When looking at this in the big picture people come to realize or are bound to realize what little things they’ve been missing and overlooking that will ultimately have a huge impact on how they view themselves and life in general on a daily basis.
In Hopkins poem many aspects of nature are overlooked and it exemplifies that men are gruel and not worthy of what God has bestowed upon us. While sitting in different positions during Zen meditation I thought about different views on nature, how some big corporations would rather make a huge profit than be eco-friendly and help stop pollution in the air and water. On the flip side we have environmentalists who may be great scientists and come up with new ways to not consume as much fossil fuel or other pollutants to reduce a chance of the world not being a healthy place to live in. In the last six lines of his poem he tells us that there may be a light at the end of the tunnel that we may be one with nature and respect what the gifts that God has given us.
The “Harlem Dancer” didn’t really incorporate its meanings and themes into the zen meditation, but I came to realize that it’s not really the exotic dancer that should be overlooked and only accounted for because of her beauty, but to find the true greatness in those who have it, maybe not able to display it as well, but it’s there and you might have to go digging deep to plunge it out of that deep hole inside an individual. During mediation I sometimes choose a moment during the day, and think about what was said, motives, actions, and other traits that people have and I try to analyze who they are and why they are who they are. “The Harlem Dancer” helped me to understand better ways to try and figure people out and what they believe in and what they don’t believe in.
The killer in “A Good Man is Hard To Find” spoke to me in a way that no other character that I’ve read about has done. I’m not saying I’m a killer or a thief, but he said that he can’t change who he was, even if he tried, and what meditation does sometimes for you is it helps you reflect on yourself what did I do right today, and what did I do wrong today, and compare it to your own definition of your character, which some people don’t see about themselves. Knowing yourself is of the utmost importance, if you overlook that, then there are thousands of other things that you must overlook.
These readings helped me realize that overlooking things is easier than most people think. There are things that happen every day of your life and it will zoom past you like it wasn’t even there to begin with. The lesson is to not take things for granted and be conscientious of your surroundings, before it is too late and that one mistake cost you big time.