My notes as a reader on:
E.M. Forster The Other Side of the Hedge
This is a short story about death and dying and an outlook on the concept of paradise you wouldn’t have expected. It is fascinating how a whole place is created with few brushstrokes and you can’t miss the rich symbolism, while the author avoids any clichees, even when introducing a man with a scythe towards the end.
The most powerful sentence for me is „(My late brother) had wasted his breath on singing, and his strength on helping others.“
I might disagree on the assessment of the narrator as I’m more of this brother type myself, but i don’t want to judge, as I can understand where this asssessment is coming from. In fact, probably every one of us has tendencies for both of these siblings in them. You do want to help but you also need to take care of yourself.
Reading how the narrator loses the race of life in their own view, sinks through the cracks and into a secluded garden… I feel like this sometimes, too, lately. It might be something universal of this part of the journey of life. You are painfully conscious of your ageing and dying sometimes, aware your loved ones will not be eternal either, while you still have the doubts in your head whether your life’s mission will work out or not. It is an ungrateful place where your youthful goals and dreams still carry you or at least you still remember the star you are following, while you are starting to understand that you cannot race forward forever. And you have not „made it“ yet. Maybe you never will. Will you regret the journey though? I certainly will not regret mine. Not all riches that can be won on such an endeavor are tangible.