Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Immortal Anne

I picked up my daughter from school today, and she had stars in her eyes.
She is reading The Diary of Anne Frank in class.

She is eleven, and lives in a world where examples are set by such fractured personages as Hanna Montana; or some other frighteningly stupid teen sit-coms with characters cut out of glossy cardboard, utterly devoid of any substance, every joke cued by inane canned laughter.

She was enchanted, swept away, entranced. Anne - reaching out across seventy years - touched her deeply.

She hasn't got to the part where Anne is stripped of her individuality and her future, and swept away to be processed in a death factory.
Horror, sadly enough, reaches people more easily than joy.

But no. My daughter was caught up in that sweetest of moments: the magical awakening to first love, that first kiss between Peter and Anne.

The delicate innocence of that love has little in common with how relationships are depicted in our contemporary life; yet she responded to it with such intensity. And what was she responding to?
Sincerity, beauty, delicacy of feeling.

Her response heartens me. Our children are not hardened; their sense of what is wholesome, beautiful, is intact. They long for so much more than they are being offered. Children (and teens) want substance, intensity, and intelligence in what is presented to them as entertainment. They want integrity.

Is anyone out there listening? Pick up and reread the Diary of Anne Frank. Please.

Oh! By the way! Yes I know next week she will come home with a broken heart when Anne dies.

I know THAT, but I also know that true stories are hard to tell, and sometimes even harder to listen to.

It is a hard, painful story, for all its beauty.

This is what gives it its power.
Yes, she will cry for Anne, because she feels for her.

Already she loves this other little girl a world and a lifetime away. And somehow a little of Anne’s spirit is passed on: her irrepressible humour, her passionate love for life.

Anne will help my little girl to grow.
It will hurt a little,as growing always does, but the love she is feeling will heal that pain.
Anne lives again.

Manuela Cardiga

No comments:

Post a Comment