Art of Racing in the Rain, Chapters 20-28
The chapters we’re discussing this week really captured the dark heaviness of Eve’s illness and the impact it was having on Denny, Enzo and Zoe. I thought it was interesting that Enzo, like all of us, began questioning his ability to respond to the complex emotions that arise in these types of experiences. In chapter 23 Enzo struggles to know what to do or how to react to a gravely ill Eve, “All I could do was move to her bedside and lie down before her like a rug.” So many times in life I’ve been confronted with the emotional or physical pain of someone close to me, and all that there is to be done is to sit with them; words, actions, responses or any kind of “doing” somehow seem out of place. While Enzo interpreted his conflicting feelings as meaning that he was perhaps not yet ready to be human, I thought that the emotions he expressed in these chapters were very human and exactly like what each of us experience in similar situations. Even Enzo’s reaction to Eve’s death, although presented as a reversion to his animal-nature, was so human in so many ways. “I couldn’t be human anymore and feel the pain that humans feel.” I think that everyone has had at least one life experience in which they feel a thread of this – a pain so intense that an escape from it must be found – an adrenaline-filled, heart-pounding physical release is sometimes the only way to deal with the frenzied jumble of emotions that are swarming within. Sometimes I wonder if the theme of this book is not so much how human Enzo and other animals can be, but that we may be much closer to our animalistic nature than we realize or care to admit.
What do you think?
As always, I look forward to reading your comments on these chapters and anything leading up to this point.