Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Pedestal

 I am one of those people that tends to put persons I look up to on a pedestal. Like anyone who was ever interested in any particular subject, I decided I wanted to know more about Hans Christian Andersen. After all, he's considered the father of the modern fairy tale. I love fairy tales. Also, "HCA was the world's first great fantasy storyteller." (The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, 1997)

In my research I found out HCA had fallen in love with a man. This love was unrequited and nothing came of it, but still...

the pedestal shattered.

I reread what Erik Haugaard had said. Or maybe I read it for the first time. And he is so completely right. Especially being a writer and reader, I tend to put some of my favorite writers on a pedestal. And writers are known for their problems. :-/

But I still put some of my favorite authors on pedestals. Today, we were talking in Ragamuffin about how easily we can point out the faults in others. We're guilty of whatever fault we just pointed out.

"For years now, I've written about how much Abba loves ragamuffins. Sometimes, these days I wrestle to believe what I wrote." -Brennan Manning, Patched Together
I want to wonder, "How in the world does he struggle?" However, "At least I'm not the only one," is closer to my mindset. These people with their shortcomings and hang-ups are human, not gods. They will fail. They will screw up. But you love them anyway. You admire them for whatever, their endurance, their faith--or lack thereof, or their messages...anything.

"....He had innumberable weaknesses, which I shall not recount, for most of them all men possess; but he had great courage that poets must have; and that made it possible for him to be totally aware of his own faults and virtues."
-Erik Christian Haugaard, Hans Christian Andersen: The Complete Fairy Tales and Stories

"It has been said that intimacy breeds contempt; and I am sure it does for those who search for idols. But I think one can love a person for his faults as well as his virtues. Man is made from clay and clay is fragile. But maybe it is its frailty that makes us look with double wonder at an ancient Greek vase: it is so delicate, so brittle, and yet it has survived..."
-Erik Christian Haugaard, Hans Christian Andersen: The Complete Fairy Tales and Stories

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