I took a little divergence for a few days. I diverged off my main road. Took the exit ramp, so to speak.
This is where I went. It’s Hubbie’s television room, the other side. That’s a photo of him in the oval frame – in his U.S. Calvary uniform, ca. 1870. That’s our tribute to “The Custer Massacre,” as that framed newspaper page puts it, an interest he and I shared. There are photos of some of the main characters in that event, books, some Indian artifacts, little horse figures . . . .
And the fireplace is a “tribute” to our single digit temperatures. Again!! Our local weathermen on TV are beginning to act a little shame-faced and apologetic. But it’s okay.
I needed to get away and “sit before the fireplace,” staying warm, and then think awhile. Fruit of my thinking may come later, in a few days, but for now I want to write about “divergence.” It surprised me that I could take such a “divergence” from my everyday life, taking several days off to relax on a comfortable sofa, reading, dozing, observing, thinking, sleeping, reading lots more, just being generally “unoccupied.”
We all feel the need to be doing something, be something, according to our ideas of who we are and how we get on in life. But sometimes you need to draw back a bit and see what’s around you – send out scouts, like Custer’s army did and like the Indians did. What’s going on? Who’s there? What are they doing? What must I do? How must I act?
Which brings me to the new movie “Divergent.” I just might could recommend this movie. It’s no artistic achievement with beautiful cinematography, superb acting, remarkable screenplay, or whatever, but it’s a thoughtful movie (based on a series of books for teens, I know).
The world of the movie Divergent is an interesting dystopia, located in time after some devastating “war” and located in place in a devastated Chicago – the place I knew well as a child. Society is divided into Five Factions, each faction made up of people who have the same quality. One quality per faction, which is what adds intensity and urgency to the act (the art ?) of self-identification.
Society expects you to test out as (or choose to be) in one of the following: Abnegation, people who help others; Truth Tellers, those who see into the truth of the matter and are therefore trusted to adjudicate wisely among people; the Erudite, those who know and understand things; Amity, those who live in harmony with the natural world and can effectively produce the food and fabric needed by all; and the very necessary Dauntless, who are strong, courageous, bold, and are needed to protect this society from . . . those outside, I guess – the unnamed threat from outside.
And where would you fit in? What kind of things test you, to give you self-knowledge? What is your best main quality that characterizes you? What is your place in society? What is your usefulness in this world?
What if you don’t fit in to any one category?
What if you “diverge” from an easily identifiable category? What if you don’t base your life on “conforming”? What if you have your own ideas of how you can be of use to others? What if, instead of the State defining you and using you, you felt you were a free and independent thinker?
What if you think the Majority should not trample on the rights of the individual?
What if you think children should be educated freely and liberally, but not indoctrinated?
What if you believe that people have a right to freely express their thoughts, their philosophical and religious beliefs, in public, on an equal footing with all other citizens?
If you don’t fit in to any expected and identifiable category, then you are a Divergent, and you are a threat to the social order (set up by the State) because you don’t conform and you can’t be controlled. You are unpredictable (to the State).
Yeah, I took a little ‘divergence” for these past few days, just to see what’s going on, just to get an idea where I am at variance with the trends in our society.
“At variance with” is one of the definitions of “divergence.”
I believe I discovered I am a Divergent.