FIFTY-THREE


On p. 53 of GR, Sarah is telling us about the marvelous and miraculous moments when her firstborn son, Track, was born.  She says, “The world went away, and in a crystallizing instant, I knew my purpose.

“As the nurse laid my son gently in my arms, Todd and I laughed and cried together.  It was a profound moment, unexpected, overwhelming.  In the space of a few minutes, we'd gone from being two individuals to being a family.”

What beautiful and profound words!!

I could discourse at some length on the Trinitarian implications of Sarah's final words in this citation.  The adding of a “TERTIUM QUID,” a third element, that binds two other elements to itself and to each other in love would provide material for fruitful reflections.  A child in its relations to father and mother bears a faint resemblance to the Holy Spirit in Relation to the Father and the Son.

I could reflect on the ancient literary pedigree of laughter and tears commixed and commingled, going back to Hector's wife, Andromache, in Book Six of Homer's Iliad.  (Ah, glorious rainbow, when the sun of a smile greets the watery arc of tears, and generates a luminous iridescence of hope!!)

However, I would like to focus instead on these words: “The world went away, and in a crystallizing instant, I knew my purpose.”

I think that the soul of this sentence, and of its interpretation, hinges on the pivot of the term and image “crystallizing.”

"What does it mean for something to be “crystallized”?  It means that something assumes a definite and symmetrical and permanent form." This form is like the definite and symmetrical internal structures of crystal.  Also, since crystal is clear and limpid, there is the connotation of clarity.

Further, what does it mean for something to possess “symmetry”?  In the literal sense of the Greek word from which our word descends, it means for something to be “measured” “together with” something else.  Something can be in symmetry with itself, when its own parts bear a harmonious relationship to each other, like the two sides of a face; or something can stand in symmetry to something else, with which it stands in measured harmony.

So, what happened to Sarah at that moment?  She became something that one can only be IN RELATION TO someone else.  She came to be measured together with or in relation to someone else.  She became a mom.  There are certain realities or modes of being that can exist only in relation to something/someone else.  There is no uncle without the nephew or niece.  There is no shepherd (at least “in actu”) without sheep.  And there is no mom without a kid!

So the structure, the order, the “teleology” of Sarah's life was set at this moment, and set with a limpid, crystal-like clearness of purpose.

The QUID, the “what,” of her life has not changed, essentially, from that moment.

However, the QUANTUM, the “how much,” has certainly changed!

She became a mother for the second, third, and fourth times, with the birth of her three daughters.

Then she became “mother” of the State of Alaska in becoming its governor.

Then she became a mom for the fifth time with the glorious birth of her little Trig.

Then, IMHO, she BEGAN to become Mother of all these United States the day Senator McCain chose her as his running mate.

Were are witnesses right now, in these very days, to the agony of parturition, as Sarah, and all of us with her, suffer under the vicious and utterly savage and unprincipled attacks of the Left; we are witnesses to the “pains of labor” that the Lady of the North Country must endure in order to fulfill what we believe and hope will be the crown and summit of a calling and vocation that began on that far-off day in 1989.

20 April, 1989: Sarah becomes Track's mom.

20 January, 2013: Sarah, God willing, becomes Mother of the United States of America.

On both days, the Glory of Laughter and of Tears!!!

Read It For Yourself:

Other Great Sarah Books:

Palin Essentials:

Credits:

All sidebar photos are from Wikimedia. I have tried to post all royalty-free images or to get permission, but in a few cases I could not locate the original source of a photograph or find a way to ask permission.


Contact info: bbrianus@gmail.com.

Other Great Going Rogue Reviews:

Jedediah Bila:

"Palin’s inviting first-person narration that is sometimes whimsical, often confident, and always patriotic...Going Rogue is truly one of those reads in which you put the book down after your eyes graze the final lines and you somehow feel like the writer is someone you’ve known all your life."
John Ziegler:

"I was simply blown away by Going Rogue on almost every level. For many reasons, this is by far the best book and greatest literary achievement by a political figure in my lifetime..."
Brigadier General Anthony J. Tata:
"Her book washes away all doubts that any reader might have had about her readiness to be president. She comes across as exceptionally bright, dedicated, and passionate about public service. Her moral compass is strong, pointing true North in this case. And she has a wicked sense of humor."
Don Surber:
"Conservatives know why Palin is still standing — and standing taller today than those who tried to bring her down. What does not kill you makes you stronger. Thank you, Tina Fey."

Sarah Palin is Coming to Town

Review by Stanley Fish:

When I walked into the Strand Bookstore in Manhattan last week, I headed straight for the bright young thing who wore an “Ask Me” button, and asked her to point me to the section of the store where I might find Sarah Palin’s memoir, “Going Rogue: An American Life.” She looked at me as if I had requested a copy of “Mein Kampf” signed in blood by the author....


A few days later...I had begun reading Palin’s book, and while I wouldn’t count myself a fan in the sense of being a supporter, I found it compelling and very well done....

First, the art. The book has an architectonic structure that is built around a single moment, the moment when Palin receives a call from John McCain inviting her to be the vice-presidential candidate of the Republican party. When we first hear about the call it is as much a surprise to us as it was (at least as reported) to her, because for six pages she has been recounting a wonderful family outing at the Alaska State Fair. When her phone rings, she hopes it might be a call from her son Track, a soldier soon to deploy to Iraq, but “it was Senator John McCain asking if I wanted to help him change history.”

And that’s the last we hear of it for 200 pages. In between we hear a lot about Wasilla, high school, basketball, college, marriage, children, Down syndrome, Alaska politics, the environment, a daughter’s pregnancy. The re-entry of John McCain into the narrative on page 208 introduces Palin’s account of the presidential campaign and its aftermath, especially her decision to resign the governorship before the end of her term....


Paradoxically, the effect of the neatly spaced references to the call is to de-emphasize it as a dramatic moment. It is presented not as a climax, but as an interruption of matters more central to Palin’s abiding concerns — her family, Alaska’s prosperity, energy policy. (She loves to rehearse the kind of wonkish details we associate with Hillary Clinton, whom she admires.)

Indeed, it is a feature of this narrative that events we might have expected to be foregrounded are elided or passed over. Palin introduced herself to the nation with a powerful, electrifying speech accepting McCain’s invitation to join the ticket. It gets half a sentence (“I gave my speech”)....


The only event that receives an extended discussion is her resignation. It is important to her because as an act it reflects on her integrity, and she has to be sure (as she eventually was) that she was doing it for the right reasons.

Resigning was a moral act for which she was responsible. The vice-presidential candidacy just happened to her; her account of it reads like an extended “what-I-did-on-my summer-and fall-vacation” essay.


For many politicians, family life is sandwiched in between long hours in public service. Palin wants us to know that for her it is the reverse. Political success is an accident that says nothing about you. Success as a wife, mother and citizen says everything...

I find the voice undeniably authentic...It is the voice of small-town America, with its folk wisdom, regional pride, common sense, distrust of rhetoric (itself a rhetorical trope), love of country and instinctive (not doctrinal) piety.

It says, here are some of the great things that have happened to me, but they are not what makes my life great and American. (“An American life is an extraordinary life.”) It says, don’t you agree with me that family, freedom and the beauties of nature are what sustain us?


And it also says, vote for me next time. For it is the voice of a politician, of the little girl who thought she could fly, tried it, scraped her knees, dusted herself off and “kept walking.”

In the end, perseverance, the ability to absorb defeat without falling into defeatism, is the key to Palin’s character. It’s what makes her run in both senses of the word and it is no accident that the physical act of running is throughout the book the metaphor for joy and real life. Her handlers in the McCain campaign wouldn’t let her run (a mistake, I think, even at the level of photo-op), no doubt because they feared another opportunity to go “off script,” to “go rogue.”

But run she does (and falls, but so what?), and when it is all over and she has lost the vice presidency and resigned the governorship, she goes on a long run and rehearses in her mind the eventful year she has chronicled. And as she runs, she achieves equilibrium and hope: “We’ve been through amazing days, and really, there wasn’t one thing to complain about. I feel such freedom, such hope, such thankfulness for our country, a place where nothing is hopeless.”

The message is clear. America can’t be stopped. I can’t be stopped. I’ve stumbled and fallen, but I always get up and run again. Her political opponents, especially those who dismissed Ronald Reagan before he was elected, should take note. Wherever you are, you better watch out. Sarah Palin is coming to town.

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