I found it interesting that today’s assigned readings were that of a newspaper article, “Serving Up Hope.” a short fictional story, “B. Tavern is Alive and Well in Cuernavaca,” and a poem, “End of April.” Despite their outwardly differences, these three works share commonalities in their themes of community, loneliness, and companionship.
I truly found the article, “Serving Up Hope,” to be very inspiring. Not only did this middle aged couple start a new business venture with their restaurant, but they also took the risk of doubling it as a training ground for those recovering from drug use or recently out of jail. This is especially risky because once the public knows that the entire staff of the restaurant are all ex-drug users and ex-convicts, they may refuse to eat there before even trying it. However, there are many people, such as myself, who find this amazing and realize the importance of helping those who have had troubled lives to get back on their feet. Because our country does not do a particularly good job of this, the fact that two average people can make such a difference in this area is simply inspiring. This article portrays all three themes in that it is building a sense of community among these people and those that do, in fact, live in their community; it takes away the loneliness these people in need have felt through their addictions or jail time, or continue to feel as they recover; and above all it forms a companionship between the workers as well as the two owners, all helping each other on their roads to recovery.
In the short fictional story, “B. Tavern is Alive and Well in Cuernavaca,” the personal venture of an aspiring writer on a get away to complete his ideas is portrayed. Upon meeting his friend’s gardener, Justino, the narrator unknowingly begins his story. The narrator takes in all that he encounters in this new community of Mexico City as he develops his ideas for a story. Originally seeking solitude and aloneness, the narrator quickly develops a deep companionship and admiration for Justino as he is a carefree ladies-man living a life of pure happiness and desire for adventure. It is then Justino’s distinct characteristics met with the legend of B. Tavern that inspire and teach the narrator as he organizes his ideas. Because of his companionship with Justino, the narrator is able to write the story he so longed for as he set out to Mexico City.
Although I am still learning to interpret poetry, after reading “End of April,” I came away with two very different senses of emotion. At first I felt this poem, with a self-explanatory title, was clearly about the beauty of nature and springtime. However, by the end of the poem I felt a strong sense of loneliness as the speaker reveals a broken heart being torn apart. It is interesting how nature seems to be seen as something of such great beauty and wonder to the speaker, however then turns into the source of his or her deep loneliness.
Whether a theme of loneliness, companionship, or community, I felt that each of these three writings had a distinct message that was beautifully conveyed.