Monday, August 29, 2011
Captivity: A Review
James Loney's book 'Captivity: 118 Days in Iraq and the Struggle for a World Without War' carried me away from the first page. It's a terrifying read, not so much because of the potential violence that hovers behind each page, but because of the emotional, political and ethical turmoil it provokes.
How do you create peace in the center of unrelenting violence and despair? How do you live day after day with fear? How do you deal with the boredom of captivity, shackled to the same people in the same room, navigating their coping strategies even as you develop your own? How do you hold on to your values, principles and beliefs as your world condenses to a few square feet and the ever-present threat that even that may yet be lost? How, in the midst of all this, do you maintain any sense of humor let alone sanity? And how, ultimately, do you love the neighbor that's too close, (the fellow captive), and the enemy that's too strong (the captor)?
The questions that 'Captivity' elicits are bigger than Loney's experience. They force the reader to reflect on where we're going as humans, and what it means to truly live faith in our time.
'Captivity' is a book that defies summary. It's a book that needs to be read.