I read The Crucible on a 30 person bus, swerving its way along a two-lane road to Mombasa, Kenya.
But first, to give you some extra insight:
- Approximately 85% of Kenya’s exports go through Mombasa. Almost 90% of Kenya’s important imports go through Mombasa.
- By the way, if you are honestly interested in this, here’s a good article: The Port of Mombasa
- Mombasa Road – A109 road – is the major road link from Mombasa to Nairobi; it is the route for all cargo trucks.
- The entire distance is 482.9 km.
- Google tells me that the trip should take 8 hours.
- Has Google taken a bus there?
- It took us 13 hours.
- It is a two lane road. The whole way.
Now, if you can, imagine the cargo trucks carrying almost 90 percent of East Africa’s imports, driving this two lane highway, for almost 500 km. Needless to say, it is regarded as one of the most dangerous roads.
Now that you have a good idea of the environment for my reading, I can begin.
The Crucible is a dramatized, slightly fictionalized telling of the Salem witch trials written by the American playwright Arthur Miller in response to the Red Scare/McCarthyism in the 1950’s. It is soaked in dramatic irony and verging on ironic and frightening enough to make one laugh. But not quite. Instead, I found myself wanting to throw the tattered book out the window, into the windshields of the fast approaching trucks.
I was appalled, frightened, and angry because
I was about to die on my way to the Indian Ocean because of super slow cargo trucks trying to pass my bus on a two lane highway, no, no, I knew I was regarding the actions of the townspeople of Salem as ludicrous, obviously wrong, while I continued making decisions ruled by fear, everyday. So I continued to read. I forced myself to get through it, struggling through painful scenes of oversight, ignorance to truth, vengeance at its finest.
So, this is what I have to say: the frustration I felt when reading The Crucible was healthy frustration, frustration that made me realize the extent to which I am enslaved by fear and the lengths to which I must go to free myself from those bonds, and learn to love.
We must learn
Not to live in fear
In living in fear
We are sentencing
To life of
Hatred for the unloved
Hatred for the unknown
Hatred will only lead to more fear.
We must learn
To love even though
Love is the answer
Love is the only way out
In the place of fear,
We must love.
In the hole
That we fill with fear,
We must fill it to the brim,
Fill it to the brim
Love to last
Beyond all the borders
Beyond all the walls we build.